Fullerton residents voice concerns over CSUF fraternity house

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Fullerton residents at a city council meeting

Residents voiced their concerns to the Fullerton city council on Tuesday about living near a CSUF fraternity house. Many said they felt the fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, had been disruptive in their neighborhood.

“You’ve got people vomiting up front. I’ve personally have had to pick up a condom out of my front yard,” said Craig Richard, a resident in Fullerton for over 30 years. “We all understand that they’re kids wanting to have fun, and if it was a handful of times a year we’d all say, ‘Sure have a great time,’ but it’s constant.”

Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity founded at CSUF in 2008, occupies the fraternity house located on Cambridge Avenue.

Zachary Coleman, who has been a member of the fraternity since fall 2016, and is now the current president said the fraternity holds 12 to 15 members. Only five of the members currently live in the house, but Coleman said they have plans to lower that number to three.

“They assume from Thursday to Sunday night we party every night. We have one to two parties — if that — a month because we are a very small fraternity,” Coleman said.

Mary, a resident who preferred not to give her last name, said the fraternity throws parties or social gatherings “five to six nights a week” and that she has tried to work with the fraternity about the situation.

“The kids don’t care,” Mary said during the city council meeting. “They laugh at us and said, ‘You have a year and a half left of us being here.’ Do I have to move, do I have to sell my home because some young kid doesn’t care?”

Coleman said the house has tried to work with the residents.

“We make sure we have a list so that everyone’s of age. We make sure that we don’t have randoms; we turn away randoms and that’s sometimes a problem. They yell at the neighbors and that’s the people we don’t even invite, they just hear of it,” Coleman said regarding the parties the fraternity holds.

Stephanie Pierce, a Fullerton resident for 22 years, said she was worried about people’s safety.

“We have pictures of one of their parties when they brought in a mechanical bull,” Pierce said. “You worry about combining the fact that these are kids; their brains aren’t finished growing. They’re drinking and you put them on a mechanical bull, it can be really dangerous.”

She also said she has seen people smoke marijuana in front of her house.

“If you’re going to do that at least be subtle or vague. Have a joint (not) a bong,” Pierce said.

Mary said she counted the number of cars and people who attended one of the parties on Sept. 29.

“I counted 23 Uber or Lyft drop-offs and around 135 kids going into the home,” Mary said. “We called the police, the police came at around 11:30 p.m. and told them to knock it off. From 11:30 p.m. to around 1:00 a.m. I counted another 12 Uber or Lyft cars and kids kept trying to come in.”

Resident Mirella Barnes said she can vouch for that number.

In response to the allegations, Coleman emphasized that the fraternity does more than just party and has helped raise money for charitable organizations. He said the fraternity is also active in supporting the Jewish community.

Mary said she hopes the city council will encourage the homeowner to rent the house to a family.

“We’re a very strong community of family,” Mary said. “We watch the kids and the neighborhood grow up. They play with each other from yard to yard. We have neighborhood parties and we want another family to move in there that will embrace the neighborhood environment.”

Nathan Nguyen contributed to this article.

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