The University’s top safety officials said searches of several residence halls across campus Monday were regular, scheduled inspections that led to drug and alcohol busts in a Greek townhouse, and happened to overlap with another in Thurston Hall.
Officers found marijuana and alcohol Monday during “routine” health and safety inspections at the Alpha Episilon Pi townhouse, located on 22nd Street, Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said. He said after inspectors found the illegal substances, they called in officers to conduct an administrative search around 2:30 p.m.
Officers also investigated reports of a “suspicious smell” that led to an administrative search in Thurston Hall around 9 p.m., University Police Chief Kevin Hay said. He said it had no connection to health and safety inspections, which take place once each spring in every hall.
Students were reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in both cases, not to the Metropolitan Police Department, according to the crime log.
Hay said no health and safety inspections took place after hours, and no other drugs or alcohol were confiscated during inspections or administrative searches Monday. He added that an officer was called in to unlock a residence Monday, but did not participate in the inspection.
“GWPD officers do not accompany Health and Safety inspectors on inspections,” Hay said in an email.
Hundreds of tweets, Facebook posts, and fraternity and sorority listserv emails fueled rumors Monday and Tuesday about residence hall “raids.” Dozens of students reported that the room searches were in connection to a list obtained by UPD from a student suspected of dealing drugs.
Asked about widespread drug-related searches, Hay said, “This simply did not occur,” and reiterated that officers were only involved the Thurston Hall case.
President of Alpha Epsilon Pi Nate Kropp said “nothing improper was found in AEPI controlled areas.”
“As you are probably aware, health and safety inspections of individual students’ rooms have no bearing on our Chapter so it would be inappropriate for me to comment on such a search in 605 22nd Street, just as it would be in any other University housing facility,” Kropp added in an email.
Two students said they saw officers searching the Alpha Epsilon Pi townhouse on 22nd Street between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The students, who asked to remain anonymous, said officers left the building carrying four boxes with some bongs and pipes visible.
A routine inspection led to an administrative search Friday in West Hall, revealing multiple fraudulent identification cards, marijuana residue and two electric stun guns.
Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.