It was a particularly chilly November evening at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on the University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus. The punk rock band Warm Pus had played its last dissonant chords, and a mixer with the Alpha Phi sorority was winding down. Then five or six beer-swigging Delts decided to “get naked.” Prancing around au naturel, they allegedly jumped on a fully clothed sorority member yelling, “Sex sandwich, sex sandwich.” “They began piling on top of me,” the woman recalls, “and blocked the door.” They also reportedly poured beer on her hair—and on other women as well.
That kind of behavior may have helped to make Animal House one of the all-time-highest box office grossers, but in real life it was simply gross. “The girl feared for her life,” says Alpha Phi adviser Mary Stuart. The sorority president filed a complaint with the Interfraternity Council at the 34,792-student school. After the national fraternity’s aptly named local supervisor, Al Nudo, looked into the incident, he conveyed the national’s sentence on 26 of the chapter’s 37 members: Vacate by nightfall.
As Dan Gonzalez, 21, the Delts’ former president (and one of those evicted), admits: “That party was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” The frat has long been known as one of Illinois’ rowdiest. “Other Delts in the past have gotten away with a lot more,” one aggrieved member insists. But the frat’s national office in Indianapolis demurs. “We had alerted them of the problem for a period of years,” says official Gale Wilkerson. “They were not good citizens.”
The 26 evictees will not be allowed to rejoin and have already located other housing—one unlucky apartment complex got 16 of them. “It’ll never be the same,” laments one freshman, but he’s trying to remain hopeful. “The young guys who stayed behind will build it back up,” he says. “When we return as alumni, we want to see a real good house here.”