Before the temporary moratorium of fraternity social events was announced Feb. 10, Bradley’s most recent alcohol action plan was very similar to other universities across the nation, but has not been updated since 2008.
As the Interfraternity Council works on a new risk management policy to enforce, all parties in fraternity chapter houses and organized off-campus residences are prohibited. In the Feb. 15 edition of the Scout, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas said underage drinking, high-risk drinking and communal sources of alcohol such as “jungle juice” caused the moratorium.
As Bradley begins to change the current risk management and alcohol policy, here’s a look at a comparable university and its policies.
For many Interfraternal and Panhellenic councils across the country, including those at Bradley, their risk management policy is developed from guidelines created by the Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG), a risk management organization.
Prior to Wednesday’s vote, IFC’s plan posted on the Fraternity and Sorority Life webpage was last revised in July 2008. The policy stated that communal sources of alcohol were not permitted and that any chapter event with alcohol must comply with either the BYOB or Third Party Vendor Guidelines.
“The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example, kegs or cases, is prohibited,” the policy stated.
The 2008 alcohol action plan also had a “proposed changes” section, where third party vendor opportunities at chapter houses were mentioned.
“At the present time due to the lack of availability of third party vendors in Peoria, fraternity parties have a BYOB policy,” the plan stated. “This policy does not work well, [it] is difficult to supervise and the current students do not like the policy … An agreement will be sought in which Bradley can serve as the third party vendor for fraternity parties. Under this policy, the parties will be much safer, more easily supervised and held at on campus fraternity houses.”
While the risk management policy stated parties not hosted at third party vendors were required to be BYOB, the policy wasn’t enforced. Current IFC President Alex Kapustka said the policy was never enforced because in the past chapters and IFC never wanted to and didn’t care to follow the policy.
The newest IFC risk management policy that was voted and approved Wednesday is very similar to the previous policy but has a stronger emphasis on enforcement. It will enforce a BYOB policy, only allowing those of legal age to bring alcohol, and prohibits hard alcohol to be consumed in open party rooms at fraternity parties. In addition, chapters will be required to have guest lists for all fraternity parties.
Butler, located in Indianapolis, has a comparable greek life system to Bradley with 35 percent of its nearly 4,800 students participating in 15 fraternity and sorority chapters.
Director of Greek Life Becky Druetzler said Butler follows the same FIPG policies as Bradley, but one major difference is security guidelines. Butler’s greek social events must have security when alcohol is present. Originally, off-duty Indianapolis Police officers would work security at these events, but changes at the police department meant chapters had to temporarily halt parties.
“There was one change to our alcohol policies this year but it was out of university control,” Druetzler said. “It wasn’t a temporary moratorium like Bradley, but we did stop alcohol at chapter houses until we figure out how to have security there. We have had several dry events registered, but no chapter-sponsored events with alcohol have been registered for the current semester.”
Druetzler said the university is in the process of interviewing security companies to work at events.
Butler’s greek life is also unique in the fact that social events with alcohol may only be hosted on Friday and Saturday nights and must end by 3 a.m. or 11 p.m. if the sound is amplified.
“It’s difficult to say what’s happening on a Friday or Saturday night at the chapter houses,” Druetzler said. “The facilities are private owned so there aren’t any university personnel patrolling.”
Along with Bradley, Butler’s policy states that no open parties without guest lists are allowed.
“Our policies are the same as everyone’s national [FIPG] policies to minimize liability on the respective organizations,” Druetzler said. “If [chapters] don’t follow them they take on a substantial risk. They’re in place to keep people safe.”
The university had an increase of alcohol-related hospitalizations across the student body a few years ago, Druetzler said, and a task force of students, faculty and administration was started.
“The task force went through all university policies including the greek policy,” she said. “For the most part students felt that the policies didn’t need any drastic changes, just more consistent enforcement. I think our current policies seem to be working.”