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Tech fraternity party leads to citations and investigation at Palo Duro Canyon

CANYON, Texas - Four people involved in a fraternity weekend trip were arrested in Palo Duro Canyon on charges ranging from possession of marijuana to possession of a controlled substance, according to open records from Palo Duro State Park Police.

The Texas Tech chapter of Beta Theta Pi entered the park without reservations, and many of them did not pay the entry fee, according to Travis Forest, a park ranger with the State Park Police at Palo Duro Canyon.

"They're making their day a bad one because they show up to the park," he 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 fraternity chapter commented on the matter stating, "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."


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