A regular monthly joint council meeting between Interfraternity Council and National Panhellenic Council led to an announcement that many students didn’t see coming, a temporary moratorium of all fraternity social events.
“I was shocked,” said IFC president Alex Kapustka. “I didn’t think they would plan this but once they explained their defense I understood even though I didn’t like it.”
At this meeting, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Nathan Thomas and Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Jesse Koch notified fraternity and sorority leaders that no social events, specifically where alcohol is consumed, can be coordinated at any fraternity chapter houses or organized at off-campus residences.
Thomas said the reason behind the moratorium was as a result of a pattern of underage drinking, high-risk drinking as well as having communal sources of alcohol such as jungle juice. Because there was little change or effort to improve these behaviors over the past semester, Thomas said they decided to take action.
“The decision was made not because of a singular event,” he said. “Over the course of the semester there have been patterns of behavior and it is concerning because no one chapter is involved, it is community-wide.”
The cease of fraternity social events is contingent on approving a new IFC risk management policy. Once all chapters approve of the policy and a method for enforcing the policy is in place, the moratorium will be lifted.
“They have been working on a new policy for awhile and it’s really just polishing that is needed,” Thomas said. “I have a ton of confidence in them and they have done an incredible job to draft a new policy.”
The new risk management policy is something that IFC members have already developed in the last few months, Kapustka said.
“We had everything in place and we were going to vote on the policy next Friday anyway,” he said. “There were just a lot more incidents at fraternity houses in the past few weekends than there have been during other months. The university was concerned for the safety of students.”
IFC Risk Management Chair Travis Cazel said the new policy will clarify some of the misunderstandings of the policy in the past.
“The policy is more BYOB oriented but the main changes are in the way we enforce the policies,” he said. “The new policy eliminates much of the grey area that the old policy had.”
Kapustka said with the policy already drafted, he expects to propose the policy on Sunday, vote on it on Wednesday and host a “Perfect Party” next Friday, a party that will demonstrate what a perfect BYOB party will be like. The party will be hosted at Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) and will be open to the campus. Those who are 21-years-old or older can bring alcohol.
While a moratorium policy is currently in place, enforcement is not. Thomas said they have not discussed consequences of disobeying the moratorium and the expectation is that chapter members and leaders can be held accountable.
While the terms of the moratorium may seem straight forward, many students said they are upset by the recent restriction, turning to social media to express their feelings.
“Bradley stands for academic excellence, but my question is when did it stop being about my academics and become about limiting my social life?” said senior political science major Jake Adcock during last Monday’s Student Senate general assembly meeting. “I just feel like they’re stepping on my rights.”
Thomas said he knew the moratorium would aggravate some students, but he didn’t expect the backlash to be so extreme.
“The student reaction has been a little more negative and pointed than what I expected,” he said. “Certainly we knew it would generate a reaction but I was surprised by how quickly rumors blew it out of proportion. It may have already been on Twitter before we left the meeting.”
Amongst the complaints of students who are and are not affiliated with greek life, many have made claims that the university has become a dry campus, or administration wants to eliminate greek life. Thomas said these rumors are untrue.
“The idea of eliminating greek life is simply not true,” said Thomas. “The most meaningful undergrad experience [for me] was greek life. Why would I want to eliminate people from having the same experience?”