Greek community reschedules march in protest of new city permit plan

Natalie Sullivan

Students from UT’s Greek community planned a march to the Tower on Thursday in protest of a new plan by city officials to reduce West Campus event and sound ordinance violations, but the protest was rescheduled hours before its start for Sept. 25.

According to Austin Fire Department Lt. Brad Price, the plan requires organizations that want to hold events to apply for a permit through the Austin Center for Events at least 21 days in advance, as well as submit a site plan detailing the makeup of the property and a map of the event site or household. Price said the 21-day notice requirement will go into effect on Oct. 1. The new plan would also put limits on live music events in West Campus.

Price said he was unsure how the plan would affect Round Up, a Greek community event held in the spring. According to Price, the new application process is being implemented in response to the department’s increased workload and issues it sees in upholding safety codes. He said the new plan will allow for more coordination between city agencies. 

APD and AFD officials held a meeting with representatives from fraternities, sororities and co-ops in West Campus on Sept. 3 to inform students of the new plan. 

According to a Facebook event page for the protest, the event was moved to next week to increase participation.

Student Government President Kori Rady said he thinks the new ordinance will negatively affect student life in West Campus. 

“I think with the unique environment West Campus has currently, having the sound ordinance and the changes proposed would take away from the enjoyment of living in that area,” Rady said.

Students have created an online petition to protest the plan and keep live music in West Campus. The petition suggests alternative ways to increase compliance with sound ordinances, such as earlier outdoor noise curfews and noise plans. The petition has received more than 2,500 signatures.

Edwin Qian, Interfraternity Council president, said the council is working to resolve its chapters’ issues with the plan with the City Council.

“I think if they are going to enforce it, we’re obviously going to see a lot less parties,” Qian said. “We’re obviously going to see people getting pretty upset about it.”

Additional reporting by Eleanor Dearman