Attack affects Roundup safety

Bobby Blanchard and Sarah White

Austin Police Department and University administrators took extra precautions to ensure student safety at Roundup, the annual Greek philanthropy and social event. Despite such efforts, the event included a violent altercation at 25th and Leon Street, Friday at midnight.

APD spokesman Anthony Hipolito said the stabbing was non-lethal and occurred outside of a fraternity house in West Campus. Although officials have not confirmed if the stabbing is connected to Roundup, fraternity houses Pi Kappa Alpha, Omicron and Sigma Alpha Mu are all in the area.

Hipolito said the victim was transferred to Brackenridge Hospital, although the suspect was not apprehended. Hipolito said police have been interviewing witnesses and are currently investigating several leads.

UT spokeswoman Marcia Gibbs said Roundup has not been an official University activity since 1990. However, she said the Interfraternity Council and the University Panhellenic Council, concerned about campus safety and crime during Roundup, instituted a wristband requirement for the students’ own benefit and to prevent high school students from attending the events. Students could get a wristband at various locations by showing their college student ID.

“Over the years, at the request of the Interfraternity Council and University Panhellenic, the University has worked and continues to work with these organizations on developing effective risk management policies and measures to ensure safety at their events,” Gibbs said.

Psychology freshman Jacky Vorlop said security guards were present at several Roundup parties, checking to make sure that attendees had the required wristbands. She said the mandatory wristbands not only kept high school students out, but many college students too, as the University ran out of wristbands at one point.

“On Saturday the police were really on-call, and if you didn’t have a wristband … but you had a student I.D., that didn’t work,” Vorlop said.

However, Plan II freshman Parker Berg said the crowds contributed to the positive experience of Roundup.

“If there are a million people milling around on West Campus, it’s going to be fun,” Berg said.

Berg said the wristbands might have been helpful in keeping some high school students out, but he did not think it kept them all out.

“I think it all comes down to who you know, just like any other party,” Berg said.

Nate Sokolski, vice-president of Alpha Tau Omega, said he felt the wristbands was an overkill measure taken by the Interfraternity Council.

“If the IFC wants to have no involvement with a fraternity party, they shouldn’t have a wristband that says IFC on it,” Sokolski said. “It’s silly, I understand they’re doing it because it’s something I guess they should do, but I don’t see the purpose of it.”

For example, Sokolski said he did not understand why wristbands were needed for philanthropy events.

“There are a lot of hypotheticals that really make these wristbands pretty imperfect, and I don’t think it’s done a good job,” Sokolski said.