Durham Neighborhoods United’s Protocol for Dealing with Off-Campus Fraternity and Student Living Houses

Durham Neighborhoods United has partnered with the Durham Police Department to develop a new protocol for reporting disruptive college parties. We welcome the students from Duke and other colleges and universities into our neighborhoods, but we do not need to tolerate loud and invasive parties. If you are living next to or near a disruptive student house, this protocol will be of help.

Recommended Steps

If you are comfortable talking with your student neighbors, meet with them to provide information about the neighborhood, establish expectations about behavior, and exchange contact information at the start of the fall semester.

  • If the students host a loud party, (1) contact them directly. If they fail to respond to quiet/end the party, (2) call the police non-emergency number at 919-560-4600. (Please call 911 if you witness any violent or threatening actions.) After you report the party, tell the operator that you wish to speak with an officer. An officer will then call you from the location of the party, possibly using a blocked number. (3) Please answer this call.

It is important to talk with the officer because:

  • Your additional information will make a stronger case for action, especially if the officer is unable to respond to the call immediately due to call volume/priority. Any photos, videos, or recordings that you have may aid in officers’ finding of probable cause for a criminal violation.
  • You will have an opportunity to share the history of the house with the officer.
  • You can express your desire for enforcement action and encourage the use of the Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program (see below).
  • Your additional information will be documented and shared among officers working to ameliorate the nuisance of legacy party houses.

The Durham Police Department responds to calls based on priority level and in the order in which they were received, and may not be able to respond to yours immediately. When officers arrive, they will take action based on the history of each house: a verbal warning will be given at the first visit, placement into the Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program at a subsequent visit, and a citation or arrest if the behavior continues.

Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program

The Durham County Misdemeanor Diversion Program is available to any first time offender between the ages 16-26 and includes education, mediation, restorative justice options, and other appropriate remedies. Persons enrolled in the program must not commit additional offenses while in the program or they will face other judicial process, but if they complete the program successfully, there will be no record of the first offense. You can learn more at https://www.dconc.gov/government/departments-a-e/criminal-justice-resource-center/youth-services/misdemeanor-diversion-program

Additional Steps to Take:

  • Call Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200 to report any litter or garbage around the student party house, or fill out a complaint online at https://durhamnc.gov/2996/Durham-One-Call-Online-Request.  (It is helpful to download the Durham One Call App on your phone and upload photos.)
  • If you suspect the student house near you is an illegal off-campus fraternity house, report it to the Durham City-County Planning Department. By law, fraternity houses must obtain a Minor Special Use Permit in order to operate—i.e., host large parties—in residential neighborhoods.  Please email Landus Robertson at landus.robertson@durhamnc.gov  and provide as many specific details as you canSupporting documents and photos are important.
  • If you wish to share your experiences with the issue of off-campus student legacy houses with the Durham officials, contact council@durhamnc.gov. You may also contact the mayor, members of city council, or members of city government individually. (Their email addresses are available on the city of Durham website.
  • If you need to report a violation of the Duke Community Standard for student behavior, please call the toll-free line at (800 826-8109), or use the confidential web form at values.duke.edu. You may also submit reports to conduct@duke.edu. Reports may be submitted anonymously, but please provide as much information as possible.  Consult  “The Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Students”  (2020-2021) for more information on the university’s expectations for student behavior.
  • If you wish to involve the media, call WRAL-TV5 at the newsroom (919 821-8600 or (800) 245-WRAL or contact the station at WRAL.com.  WTVD-11 at is available at (800) 672-9883 or on the Troubleshooter line at (919) 688-9883.

DNU-DPD Protocol Fall 2021