The house involved is Sigma Nu, off Willard Way near West Campus. Apparently, firefighters found a small pot-growing operation while investigating a busted water pipe. I would not be surprised if sanctions from their national or from the IFC are put in place against Sigma Nu as a result of this incident, as it is rather embarrassing for the Greek community (personally, I think it makes Sig Nu look like a bunch of dim bulbs).
ITHACA — A busted water pipe may lead to a drug bust after the discovery of a small marijuana-growing operation inside a Cornell University fraternity house.
The Sigma Nu house manager called firefighters about the broken water pipe on the second floor, Ithaca fire officials said. Firefighters contacted the Ithaca Police when they found the plants.
Ithaca firefighters found a half-dozen marijuana plants Tuesday afternoon while investigating a broken water pipe at the Sigma Nu fraternity house on Willard Way, Ithaca Police officials said. Officers seized the plants and though they’ve identified a person of interest, they aren’t releasing his name.
Water was running through the ceiling, they explained, and in the process of assessing the damage, firefighters found the plants in a tin-foil lined closet, surrounded on all sides and angles by several high-intensity lights.
Whoever was growing the plants will likely be charged with unlawful growing of cannabis, a misdemeanor, police said. Fire officials said the numerous electrical cords used to power the lights created a fire hazard.
The leaking pipe was part of the sprinkler system and had to be shut down for repairs, Ithaca Building Department officials said. Additional life and safety issues such as a defective smoke and fire detection system and missing exit signs were found, so they posted the house on Tuesday and told everyone to leave until the problems could be fixed, they added.
Bobby Quintal, a member of the fraternity’s executive committee and last year’s president, said the chapter housed members in local hotels and other campus fraternities donated space while contractors fixed the problems.
Friday evening, Ithaca Building Department officials said that the house would likely be safe and ready to be reoccupied later that night.
Quintal said he isn’t living at the house and has no knowledge of the marijuana found there, but that marijuana possession violates Sigma Nu fraternity rules. When rules are violated, the national chapter investigates and might sanction the local chapter, the fraternity member or both, depending on the outcome of their investigation.