Four people were arrested over the weekend during a Texas Tech fraternity camping trip to the Palo Duro Canyon.
According to police, the Texas Tech chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity entered the Palo Duro Canyon park without reservations, and many of them did not pay the entry fee.
Travis Forest, a park ranger with the State Park Police at Palo Duro Canyon, said that the trip was quickly shut down by police officers, who then began investigating drugs, alcohol and underage drinking.
At this time, all of the charges against the fraternity and its members are still pending. Additionally, Palo Duro State Park Police are working with Texas Tech University on the less severe cases.
“They’re making their day a bad one because they show up to the park,” Forest said, “and all of a sudden, they don’t have reservations.”
The trip was quickly shut down by police, who said it turned into an investigation of drugs, alcohol and underage drinking. All charges are still pending, added Forest.
Forest said they are working with Texas Tech University on the less severe cases. JaWana Green from the Office of Student Conduct at Texas Tech said the university takes the conduct of students very seriously.
“We always want to make sure our students are safe,” she said. “So, we are always promoting and encouraging safety, security, fun, but also having a Tech experience.”
Forest said while he wants all guests to enjoy the parks, the rules are there for a reason.
“Following those rules and regulations,” he said, “are just a small part ensuring their safety, their visit is a good one, a positive one.”
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity chapter released the following statement on the matter: “We are aware that an incident occurred and are fully cooperating with police, university officials and our General Fraternity to determine the facts and advance any necessary investigations.”