Investigation of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity is under way after a search warrant was executed utilizing the SWAT team last Friday.
Authorities say that a substantial amount of marijuana was found and that two officers were injured.
The search was done at 6:30 a.m. Friday at the TKE house on Main Street and at another unrelated home on Center Street after police were given a tip. In total, $2,000 worth of marijuana was found between the two locations.
One person out of the 10 individuals on the lease for the house is expected to be charged with possession of marijuana with attempt to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug trafficking location.
It was reported that Andrew Anderson, 21, became combative at the TKE house and was arrested. He has since been placed on a $5,000 signature bond. He is expected to be charged with battery of law enforcement officers and resisting an officer during his initial appearance in court on March 17.
The fraternity is currently on a temporary suspension.
Portage County Chief Deputy Daniel Kontos made it clear that the individuals involved will not only experience the immediate criminal repercussions but also more permanent consequences for these actions.
“Whether you are in a fraternity, sorority, in the residence halls or wherever, your actions stay with you for the rest of your life,” Kontos said. “Illegal activity is not a secret. It may seem as if what you do in college is innocent, but there are rules to follow that are especially important when you live in communal housing.”
Kontos also pointed out that these events can potentially hurt students searching for jobs.
“When it comes down to it, actions like these can really impact your career path. It is a reflection of your character and trustworthiness. Employers want to see that you are responsible and make good decisions,” Kontos said.
Interim Dean of Students Laura Ketchum-Ciftci believes that it is unfortunate that one negative incident is receiving far more attention than all of the good that Greek organizations do.
“I am a firm believer in the positive effects that being involved on campus can have. Unfortunately, the good things that these organizations do does not receive as much publicity as this,” Ketchum-Ciftci said.
A conduct process utilizing the board of peers will be held at the university level regarding this incident.
“There are sanctions for both individuals and clubs ranging from probation all the way up to suspension,” Ketchum-Ciftci said.
There is not a formal police report yet, as the investigation is still ongoing. When the report does come out, the university can move forward.
Aside from an ongoing police investigation, there is also an investigation headed by the national chapter of TKE regarding the incident.
“The national chapter of the fraternity is taking matters into its own hands,” said Tanner Thorne, UWSP Inter-Greek Council president.
“We currently do not have communication with TKE as this gets sorted out,” Thorne said.
Thorne also made it clear that it is important to realize that one negative event does not outweigh all of the positive things that come out of Greek life on campus.
“We do a lot of good in the Stevens Point area. We are heavily involved in philanthropy and are well-known throughout the community. I do not think that all of that good should be discounted because of one isolated incident,” Thorne said. “TKE is a respected fraternity and will have our support as an organization for as long as they need it.”
TKE has not yet released a statement regarding the present circumstances.