Underage drinking at Castleton fraternity

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(Host) Castleton State College is not happy with the Kappa Delta Phi fraternity.

An undercover sting operation this week led police to issue citations to 41 minors – mostly students at the college – for underage drinking at the fraternity.

Several adults face charges, including the president of the fraternity, who is accused of operating a bar without a license.

But as VPR’s Nina Keck reports, college administrators say because the fraternity is not affiliated with the school and is off campus, school officials have little control over the situation.

(Keck) The Kappa Delta Phi fraternity in Castleton has been a repeat offender when it comes to underage drinking.

Michael Davidson, an investigator with the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, says he’s received a number of complaints about the fraternity.

(Davidson) We’ve been watching activity and they’ve actually been charged in past years, and it seems to be an ongoing problem. They’ve been in court before, in Rutland District Court before, and there have been individuals who have been written up for underage drinking on the premises in the past.

(Keck) According to Davidson, the fraternity seems to be buying large amounts of beer and hosting parties to make money.

He said an undercover law enforcement officer went to the fraternity Wednesday night and was charged two dollars to enter.

Davidson said police officers from the Vermont Department of Liquor Control, Vermont State Police, Castleton Police and the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department took part in the undercover operation.

He said that “START” — the Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team — provided the money to orchestrate the bust.

But Gregory Stone, dean of students at Castleton State College, says the situation is frustrating for both the college and the local community.

(Stone) The unfortunate thing is that we have an organization right beside our campus that in my opinion provides a dangerous place for young people to go. We tell them that directly; we tell their parents that directly, but it doesn’t stop people from going there. But that’s part of our problem that we have not been able to, if you will, eliminate that group from the campus.

(Keck) Stone says he’s tried to contact the national headquarters for Kappa Delta Phi fraternity with no success.

He says the resources of the college security office and even the local Castleton Police Department are limited.

And that’s restricted efforts to stop the problem of underage drinking.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck.

(Host) Kappa Delta Phi also has chapters at Lyndon State College in Vermont and at Keene State in New Hampshire.

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