Donald James McNamara

Although Roundup was considered a relatively successful event in terms of safety, the festive weekend was not without its woes.

Sergeant Alfred Trejo of the Austin Police Department region one district representative unit agreed Roundup 2013 was safe to attend and cited a lack of arrests and serious injuries, but said overcrowding and failure to abide by city ordinances put a damper on the celebration. 

Trejo is part of a Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) team, a group of APD officers, AFD fire marshals and officers from the city’s code compliance group. The group is a team that handles special events throughout the city year-round. 

According to a report filed by Trejo’s team, the PACE team issued 36 tickets for minors in possession of alcohol and one ticket for public urination. The Austin Fire Department issued three tickets for fire code violations. A total of six parties were shut down. The PACE team made no arrests and did not receive any reports of serious injury or assault. 

“Roundup was fairly safe this year,” Trejo said. “Last year it seemed like the fraternities were doing a better job of regulating the amount of people that attended their parties. Generally speaking, this year they didn’t do a good job [of that].” 

According to Trejo, five parties were shut down because of overcrowding. The sixth party was shut down because a few attendants began throwing bottles at police officers. 

“Roundup would have gone a lot better if they just regulated overcrowding,” Trejo said. “Generally speaking, some parties did a good job and others didn’t.”

Donald James McNamara, president of the University Interfraternity Council, said it is out of the jurisdiction of his organization to deny entry to anyone but high school students and minors. Overcrowding and code compliance is in the hands of individual fraternities. 

“The problem is that Roundup has become a near-national event,” McNamara said. “On Friday we swiped IDs from the University of Anchorage in Alaska. The IFC’s only goal is to make sure our member organizations have a good risk framework to prevent high school students from attending their parties. The real goal would be to have each organization prevent overcapacity, which is not an easy task.”

Between March 20 and March 23, the IFC distributed close to 20,000 Roundup wristbands. The wristbands were designed to curb high school turnout. McNamara said policing wristband distribution efforts would be a counterproductive process because Roundup continues to grow in popularity.

“The only thing I can see the IFC doing is mandating that only UT students get wristbands, but I really don’t think anyone would condone that or abide by it,” McNamara said.

On Saturday, police responded to a riot that took place outside a concert featuring rapper Juicy J at the Phi Kappa Psi house. According to an official affidavit, police were forced to disperse a crowd of about 200 partygoers after several conspired to break a fence and rush into the property.

According to police and eyewitness accounts, the crowd was not allowed into the concert because it was at capacity. All attendees needed to purchase a separate wristband. The situation escalated, leading to the destruction of private property that prompted police response. 

“Juicy J didn’t even take the stage,” said journalism junior Dylan Dickstein, who was at the concert. “The police came inside the gates blowing whistles, pointing flashlights and telling people to leave.”

Trejo responded to the scene and helped in clearing out the party. 

According to the same affidavit, one UT student was arrested at the scene. Thomas Edward Adams, a mechanical engineering freshman, was apprehended by police after refusing to follow orders to disperse. He was charged with participating in a riot, a class B misdemeanor. 

Adams refused to comment, citing his lack of legal counsel.

Printed on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 as: Roundup overcrowds West Campus, ignores codes 

Students dance to to the Yin Yang Twins during Roundup at ZBTahiti in March of 2013. 

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

Despite the hordes of people, alcohol, concerts and neon, Roundup 2013 was relatively successful in terms of safety, according to the University Interfraternity Council and the South West Emergency Action Team, a group of independently contracted first responders. 

Tannifer Ayres, president of the emergency team, said Roundup 2013 was safer than previous Roundups and noted a lack of trauma-related injuries. 

“To my knowledge, we only treated minor injuries this weekend,” Ayres said. “I’ll have to look at the comprehensive report, but nothing stands out. In years past, we’ve had to treat a lot of trauma injuries. Last year, someone was stabbed outside a Roundup event.”

Ayres said safety initiatives implemented for Roundup have made it a safer event to participate in, and she said even stricter initiatives will be implemented for Roundup 2014. 

“The frats did a good job providing security and medical detail,” Ayres said. “This year, the frats had us rolling from house to house. Next year, we will have individual units at each house. It will facilitate quicker responses and make us more efficient.” 

Donald James McNamara, president of the IFC, said the weekend went according to plan and cited the importance of safety initiatives.

“I haven’t looked at the comprehensive incident report,” McNamara said, “but to my knowledge, there were no serious injuries. Pretty good considering we handed out over 19,000 of our 20,000 wristbands.”

During the weekend, several parties were shut down by the Austin Police Department. On Saturday night, police responded to a riot outside a West Campus concert featuring rapper Juicy J in which a crowd of about 200 attempted to break through a gate to gain entrance to the concert, according to an arrest affidavit. According to the affidavit, only one arrest was made after police broke up the crowd. 

Juicy J tweeted at 10 p.m. that police had shut down his concert. McNamara said most parties are shut down to promote the safety of those in attendance, and that police shut downs aren’t indicative of illicit activity more serious than fire hazards. 

“A lot of events are shut down because there are so many people,” McNamara said. “At capacity, a lot of these places can hold 6,000 people. We had close to 20,000 attend Roundup. The numbers get too high and the authorities have to shut down the parties to keep everyone safe.”

McNamara said wristband distribution efforts contributed to the weekend’s success. 

“In years past there have been a lot of problems,” McNamara said. “Our teams this year did a great job getting the wristbands out in a timely manner. It kept everything very manageable.”

Published on March 25, 2013 as "Glowing success". 

The kaleidoscopic blur of neon-colored apparel and partying that is Roundup will commence this weekend.

Officials overseeing the administrative side of the Greek-oriented event are bracing themselves for the weekend’s festivities, implementing a host of safety initiatives that will facilitate responsible decision-making and keep high school students out of parties and away from alcohol. 

Following several of the same safety initiatives carried out for Roundup 2012 — a relatively successful weekend that saw a decrease in filed police reports — the Interfraternity and University Panhellenic councils distributed 20,000 identification wristbands over the course of three days at several off-campus locations and outside the Student Activity Center on Thursday. 

Edwin Qian, a management information systems junior and member of the IFC, said the wristbands are primarily distributed to diminish the presence of high school students. Qian said Roundup is not a recruiting event for Greek organizations. 

“The wristband is mainly to keep the high school kids out this weekend,” Qian said. “If you have a UT ID, we scan it to verify your identity. The scanners we use are hooked up to the UT student database to make sure people don’t get more than one wristband.” 

Qian said participants need not be enrolled at UT. Students from all universities can attend Roundup as long as they present valid ID. 

“Since Roundup is pretty famous, a lot of non-UT students come to hang out with us,” Qian said. “We just have to verify that they’re of age or attending college.” 

Donald James McNamara, a finance junior and president of the IFC, said Roundup is not a UT-sanctioned event or in any way hosted by the IFC or UPC. Rather, all Roundup events are planned by individual Greek organizations. The IFC, UPC and Office of the Dean of Students partner to find ways to curb high school student attendance and assure the safety of participants. 

“Each individual fraternity is responsible for managing all aspects of their Roundup events, including attendance policy, event safety and risk management,” McNamara said. “All safety planning implemented by individual organizations should be in accordance with the IFC Risk Management Policy, each fraternity’s own risk management policy and all state and local laws.” 

McNamara said the IFC has no specific arrangements with law enforcement, but has hired third-party companies to deal with security and first response.

“We have not been in contact with the Austin Police Department, and Roundup is out of UTPD’s jurisdiction,” McNamara said, “but we do have our own EMS and ambulance on call for the weekend, just in case anything goes wrong.” 

Andrianna Frinzi, a communication studies junior and spokeswoman for the UPC, said each organization’s security and safety procedures differ, but there are minimum guidelines each organization must meet. 

McNamara elaborated on his own fraternity’s security procedures.

“Basically, there is a hired third party that will handle the front door at events,” McNamara said. “They will be asking students to present the IFC wristband in order to get in. Most places will also be checking student IDs just to make sure people are of age. If there’s alcohol present at the event, then there will be a third party handing out separate age-verified wristbands.” 

Greek organizations participating in Roundup won’t all be hosting parties. Ryan Lohmann, a civil engineering senior and member of the faith-based Beta Upsilon Chi, said his fraternity and Sigma Phi Lamda will distribute free water bottles to Roundup participants on the corner of 25th and Pearl streets. 

Taylor Villarreal, a journalism sophomore who will attend her first Roundup this year, said she is not worried about safety. 

“I know that Roundup has a reputation for being fun and very neon … and crazy, very crazy,” Villarreal said. “A lot of events are during the day, so I’m not concerned. It’s in West Campus, and I live pretty close. I have a lot of friends here, so a lot of people that are out I already know.”