Panhellenic Council President, Williamsburg Chief of Police respond Sorority Court house intrusions


Tuesday, Feb. 27, students at the College of William and Mary witnessed Williamsburg residents climbing up a fire escape on the back of a house in Sorority Court. According to a tip received by The Flat Hat, sorority presidents have been working toward increasing safety for members living in the sorority on-campus houses. In response to the event, the Panhellenic Council issued a formal complaint to the William and Mary Police Department, requesting action towards these intrusions and recent increased police presence around Sorority Court.

“We did get a complaint on the 27th of February, that there was a group of suspicious males on the exterior fire escape in sorority court at one of the houses. And by the time our officers got there, they had dispersed and were no longer there,” WMPD Chief Don Butler said in an interview with The Flat Hat.

Panhellenic President Kay Carter ’25 described her initial reaction to hearing about attempted intrusions in a sorority house. 

“I obviously heard this from a friend, so I was ready to go up in arms for my friend like, ‘oh, they should not let this happen, and this, that and the third.’ I was ready to just be like, ‘let’s issue a statement.’ But I couldn’t even issue a statement, because what are we even making the statement of? So I definitely had to go to my advisor and talk it out with her and be like, this is the situation; and this is how I feel about the situation. I’m completely enraged. This is insane because Sorority Court, it’s just women who live there, you know what I mean? So, it just really sucks that the spaces where you typically find women are supposed to be safe spaces for women, and it’s just being taken advantage of,” Carter said.

Alongside Panhellenic Council, staff at the College have expressed efforts to address safety concerns. 

“Our staff, as well as colleagues in other departments, are aware of the situation and are working on addressing it,” Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Alexa Gerling wrote in an email to The Flat Hat.

The response from the student body following the situation has been full of shock and anxiety toward the safety of the women who live in the court. However, Butler assured the Flat Hat that he and his staff are working toward the safety of the affected students.

“I met with a couple of students with concerns about Sorority Court, and based on their concerns, we did increase and we currently have increased staffing in that area, particularly at night,” Butler said.

Carter described how some recent interactions in Sorority Court are different than typical ones.

“A lot of times people will just walk through sorority court, be like, ‘wow, this is so beautiful,’ or cut through on the way to CW,” Carter said. “But we have had instances and within the last couple of months, what I would consider an increase of instances, where people are going into Sorority Court and causing some sort of a nuisance, whether that be, knocking on their doors or climbing the fire escapes or even trying to look through their windows and shine lights in their houses and such. And, I know that we have brought it to the attention of the police; however, they’ve let us know that it is a public campus so they can come, like there’s no law saying that they cannot be here on the property.”

Carter, in discussion with the Panhellenic Council, has been considering potential solutions to the issue. Other responses to the situation have proposed the installation of Ring security cameras at the sorority houses to screen people and keep visitors accountable, as safety continues to be of concern on campus.

“So one thing that was brought up was the potential of getting like a Ring camera for the houses so then they’d be able to, like, if these things were to occur, have some sort of proof that it happened,” Carter said. “We’re still trying to see if that’s even something that we’re allowed to do though, like not a Panhel sponsored thing, but just the things that the girls in the houses can do to further protect themselves and keep themselves safe.” 

Carter also explained some potential next steps for the Panhellenic Council to take.

“We’re still trying to find ways to help girls who live in these houses, or frequent these areas, help them to feel a little safer and a little more comfortable, because at the end of the day, they do live there, and they deserve to feel comfortable in that. I’m sure that there’s something that can be done, whether that’s education or a combination of education and increased police presence, because I know in the past we used to have a cop that was always around sorority  court, so that when instances like this arose, you know, students would feel comfortable with a police officer who’s close by who could easily end the situation,” Carter said.

Gretchen Swartz ’27, vice president of Panhellenic Council’s public relations, provided her reactions to the situation. 

“The situation is disturbing, and we’re fortunate that it was brought to our attention. Sorority Court, and Panhel as a whole, holds a tight community. We’re going to persist in our efforts and communications until this is no longer a worry in the minds of our members,” Swartz said.

Carter offered a final remark about the situation. 

“I definitely want people to know, we see that something is happening and we are trying our very best within the confines of the law to come to a resolution about this. Because as much as I wish that we could just be like, ‘okay, no randos in this court, yeah, boom, problem solved.’ We can’t do that because it’s a public campus. But maybe, the increased police presence is kind of deterring troublemakers and such from coming into the court and making us feel afraid and anxious,” Carter said.


  1. After like reading the quotes from the like Panhellenic leadership. I like totally figured out that the boys on the fire escape were probably not trying to get inside. They were totally like… escaping. Totally.


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