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UCF releases UCF PD body-camera footage on Dec. 4 from Theta Chi's Nov. 19 house party that led to the termination of the fraternity's on-campus contract. Courtesy UCF

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Theta Chi fraternity’s on-campus housing contract has been terminated two weeks after the fraternity threw a house party that violated terms of the organization’s lease agreement.

At a meeting Friday, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life informed the fraternity that the 35 men living in the house must move out by the end of the semester — Dec. 16 for those who are not graduating this semester and Dec. 20 for those who are. This action was strictly based on the lease agreement involving alcohol, fire safety and disregard for property, according to a press release.

“This behavior clearly does not reflect the values we expect our students to uphold, and we acted swiftly to address it,” UCF spokesman Chad Binette said in the release.

On Nov. 19, UCF Police officers responded to a fire alarm at the Theta Chi house, where they found a bicycle lock placed around the front door, preventing people from entering or leaving that way, according to the release.

“[Officers] also found multiple people passed out and intoxicated — one was treated and released at an area emergency room — and no apparent measures to prevent underage people from drinking,” the release states.

It was later identified that the man sent to the ER was an 18-year-old who was not a UCF student.

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UCF releases UCF PD body-camera footage on Dec. 4 from Theta Chi's Nov. 19 house party that led to the termination of the fraternity's on-campus contract. Courtesy UCF

The eviction letter sent to the fraternity states university tailgating hours were from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. that day, but an unregistered social event was unlawfully activated from inside the house at 8:44 p.m.

"Upon entry, furniture was found placed in front of other exits, shattered glass was found in the hallway, occupants were exiting the house via the bedroom windows and an unattended candle was burning in the bedroom," the letter states. "Large amounts of opened alcohol containers, debris from holiday decorations and trash were found throughout the inside of the house and external patio areas."

According to the letter, the current actions of the fraternity are "intolerable and demonstrate an unwillingness to comply with the covenants and conditions of the lease."

UCF PD officer Christopher Holt responded to the call and requested Fire Rescue because it was a full-building alarm, and he had already found one individual passed out, according to the incident report.

"I asked [the fraternity members] to take me to the fire panel, which we soon located in the main entrance area. While I was there, I observed two males passed out on couches in the room to the north of the fire alarm panel. I asked some individuals to attempt to wake them but they were unable to do so. It was obvious they were breathing. They would respond to being shaken but did not regain consciousness," Holt said in the report.

After Fire Rescue arrived to check for others who needed medical attention in the house, they went with Holt to check the parking lot, where four other individuals were found throwing up in vehicles.

"While waiting on investigations, I met with the housing director for the Theta Chi house, as well as other individuals from housing, and informed them of the incident. I showed them the lock that had to be cut off the front door, and they were able to see the state of the house," Holt said in the report.

The report states Fire Rescue personnel asked Holt to remove one individual who kept interrupting them and would not get out of the way so they could work on the patients.

"He was later identified as Kurt Owens, the president of the fraternity. It took multiple orders to get him to leave the rescue staff alone. He appeared to be extremely intoxicated," Holt said in the report. "We attempted to explain what was going on to the residents of the house. An individual I had encountered before, Mr. David Castro, continually interrupted, telling us they had it all under control. He insisted that it was under control because they had sober people monitoring the individuals who were passed out on the couches."

Theta Chi has released a statement regarding the incident, stating that the fraternity's headquarters has been notified of reports concerning activities that took place on Nov. 19.

"Student health and safety is the fraternity's primary concern. Theta Chi fraternity has placed its University of Central Florida Chapter on suspended status and has staff on campus conducting an investigation," the statement reads. "The fraternity has been cooperating with University of Central Florida administrators and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation."

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Rachel Stuart is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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