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Police raid ‘Animal House’ fraternity

Authorities on Thursday raided the Dartmouth College fraternity that inspired the 1978 movie “Animal House.”
The Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., an inspiration for the 1978 movie "National Lampoon's Animal House," is shown Friday.
The Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., an inspiration for the 1978 movie "National Lampoon's Animal House," is shown Friday.Larry Crowe / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Authorities raided the Dartmouth College fraternity that helped inspire the movie “Animal House,” carrying off 10 crates, a computer and other items. Investigators refused to say what the search on the Ivy League campus was about.

Court documents on Thursday’s raid were sealed, and Hanover police said only that the search at the Alpha Delta house was part of a two-year investigation and that they expect to make arrests. Alpha Delta members turned a reporter away at the door Friday.

Dartmouth junior Joe Kutney, a member of the Tri-Kap fraternity, said Alpha Delta can be “a pretty crazy house” whose members are proud of their party reputation. But he added that Alpha Delta is not the only Dartmouth frat with such a reputation.

“Animal House” portrayed fraternity debauchery at the fictional Delta House, whose members repeatedly thwart and embarrass the Faber College officials determined to banish them. One of the writers of the 1978 movie, Chris Miller, was a 1964 Dartmouth graduate and a member of Alpha Delta.

A ‘major interruption’
Police removed 10 crates, two bags, a videotape and a computer during the raid. Police Chief Nick Giaccone said a 19-year-old student was arrested at the house on a drug charge Thursday, but the arrest was not related to the investigation.

The police chief said the investigation began in October 2004 following an incident at the fraternity, which is owned by a group of its alumni called the Dartmouth Corporation of Alpha Delta.

George Ostler, lawyer for the fraternity members, would not comment except to call the search a “major interruption.” The raid came as parents began arriving on campus for graduation Sunday.

Dartmouth spokesman Roland Adams said the school does not release disciplinary records for Dartmouth’s 24 single-sex fraternities and sororities or the three co-ed organizations. More than a third of the school’s 4,100 undergraduates are members of single-sex fraternities and sororities. Adams would not say what the investigation was about.

Frats and sororities are central to the social life on the rural campus, and some of them have a reputation for hard drinking and raucous behavior. Dartmouth has been trying for years to curb the drinking, reduce the role of fraternities and give students more things to do.

Last year, the Theta Delta Chi fraternity was indicted on charges it served alcohol to minors. And in 2001, the school banned the Zeta Psi fraternity for printing newsletters that detailed the sexual exploits of its members.