Three Vanderbilt University police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after an incident Sunday in which they drew their weapons on students inside the National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternity house.
Officers were responding to a disturbance call at 4:50 a.m. Sunday when they observed things being thrown out of a broken window at the Delphi house, according to a Vanderbilt police log.
The trio of officers entered the house with their weapons drawn and handcuffed several students and their off-campus guests, a Vanderbilt news release said. The students were held outside in freezing cold weather for more than 30 minutes.
A further look at the police log reveals that officers also observed furniture being thrown against the walls and evidence of extensive vandalism at the house.
Vanderbilt University Police Department Chief August Washington has ordered an internal investigation.
The officers will remain on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
"We greatly value the safety and sense of community that our officers bring to campus," said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. "However, it is imperative when weapons are drawn and students are held in this manner, that we ensure our procedures and protocols for such actions are clear, that all on our campus understand those procedures.”
An investigation into how the damage to the house occurred is also under way.
The Delphi house is one of five remaining historic homes in West Side Row. Built in the early 1900s, they were used as Vanderbilt’s first dormitories. Today, they serve as homes for various Greek organizations.
NPHC, which is housed in Delphi house, is the governing council for the seven historically black fraternities and sororities on Vanderbilt’s campus.
Repairs to the house already have begun so the structure can be used as soon as possible.
“This is an important gathering place for NPHC members, as well as a historic residence,” said Richard McCarty, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Our housing office will oversee the necessary repairs so that the building can be reopened to our students.”