The Sigma Chi fraternity and at least one other Greek chapter house were vandalized late last week, resulting in an emergency meeting between university officials and Greek community leaders Saturday.
University officials confirmed a window of the Sigma Chi house was broken late Thursday night or early Friday morning, resulting in the filing of a report with the Madison Police Department on behalf of the fraternity.
At least one other house located on Langdon Street filed a report after an incident Friday, though officials were unable to confirm the name of the chapter.
In response to the acts of vandalism, Dean of Students Lori Berquam and Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Barb Kautz held a mandatory meeting with Greek leaders Saturday night to alert chapter leaders about the incidents and discuss possible safety measures for the future.
Berquam said the meeting was also held to ensure houses had security measures in place and to allow a forum for discussion.
“It was a good effort at communicating with everyone in terms of what happened,” Berquam said. “We do take [vandalism] very seriously, the same way we take sexual assault seriously. This really impacts our community. It impacts our campus. It impacts the learning that is happening.”
Berquam said she was surprised to hear there have been previous acts of vandalism toward chapter houses this year and says she plans to improve communication between MPD and the university to ensure they are alerted of incidents in the future.
“It ties directly to the bigger issue: If there is not a line of communication about what might be labeled vandalism, will there be a line of communication for bigger issues?” Berquam said.
Anti-Greek sentiments on campus were also addressed at the meeting, according to Berquam.
She said she hopes Greek leaders will begin to take a more active role in how their community is perceived on campus, though she said she believes it is an ongoing process they have already committed themselves to.
Interfraternity Council President Nate Anderson said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald the IFC applauds Berquam for hosting the meeting.
Anderson went on to say he hopes the meeting will be a springboard for future positive relations with Berquam and MPD.
“The IFC was shocked and saddened to hear about the vandalism that occurred at a member fraternity’s house this past week,” Anderson wrote. “Vandalism is a very serious issue that raises concerns about some overall safety issues in the downtown campus area.”
When asked if she believed there to be a connection between the vandalism and allegations made last week about an alleged sexual assault at Sigma Chi, Berquam said it would be insincere to say otherwise.
Sigma Chi President Andrew Thalhimer did not return several calls as of press time.
A representative of another chapter house where vandalism is suspected to have occurred declined to comment as well.
Report details are expected to be available today through MPD.