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Monday, April 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Class Calls Berkeley Frat Boys a Menace

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - Members of 35 fraternities at the University of California, Berkeley are destroying the peace of the neighborhood by binge drinking, trashing the streets, "discrimination against the physically disabled, sexual harassment," urinating in public and being drunk, noisy and obnoxious, the South of Campus Neighborhood Association says in a class action.

The neighbors of UC-Berkeley sued the InterFraternity Council and 35 Greek houses, saying the frat boys are a public menace with their loud parties, excessive drinking and littering, shooting of fireworks, harassment of passersby, and public urination.

The fraternities claim to be "mutual benefit and/or nonprofits dedicated to the four values or leadership, scholarship, friendship and service," the complaint states.

Actually, the neighbors say, the fraternities support "binge drinking," "discrimination against the physically disabled, sexual harassment," and "anti-social behaviors which damage the habitability of the entire neighborhood."

The neighbors say the fraternities use the CalGreeks Social Code to justify and cover up their "illegal, anti-social and wrongful behaviors." The frat boys' arrogance and sense of entitlement is not just insulting, it violates state laws and local ordinances, the neighbors say.

The neighbors also say the frats hold giant gatherings to which they charge admission and other fees, without a business license to do so.

The class seeks damages for private and public nuisance, unfair competition, business code violations, negligence, and intentional torts.

They are represented in Alameda County Court by Louis Garcia with the Law Offices of Paul Kranz in Berkeley.

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