CFSC decides new Greek alcohol policy

by Sarah Gerry | 5/21/98 5:00am

Teams of Safety and Security and student monitors will inspect Greek house basements for underage drinkers and crowding, among other violations, according to the Coed, Fraternity, and Sorority Council's revised social event procedures, which will be enacted at the end of this month.

The teams will check to make sure each of the fraternity's kegs has been registered and that houses do not have more than five kegs at open parties and not more than two kegs at closed parties with 400 guests or fewer and a written guest list.

The set keg limits at closed and open parties are a departure from today's social procedures. Fraternities currently use a formula based on their house's fire capacity, the hours of their social event and the number of drinking-age students at the College to calculate the number of kegs they can provide for their guests, CFSC Vice President David Hawkins '99 said.

Under the new system, two student monitors from the fraternity giving the party and a house officer will be required to remain at the house's door all night. Previously, only one student monitor stayed at the door to check visitors' IDs, said student monitor and Sigma Alpha Epsilon member Jeff Steeves '99.

The "closed party option" itself is new to the College and will create a "safer environment" than the College's open parties, Muckle said.

"Someone who invites a guest is somewhat responsible for the behavior of that guest," he said.

The monitor team will inspect fraternities holding open parties twice the evening of the party, and will patrol closed parties only once, Hawkins said.

Muckle cited the "tips training" of all Greek members as the most important social policy revision.

Muckle said Greek members will learn how to recognize the signs of intoxication and how to "confront situations" where students have been drinking in excess.

He said members of the Class of 2000 will be trained in the summer, and 2001 pledges will be trained in the fall. Muckle said houses will be encouraged to train members from the Class of 1999.

The CFS Judiciary Committee, consisting of representatives from each of the Greek system's governing councils, will determine how to punish houses found in violation of any of the new regulations, according to the new procedures.

Each case will be judged individually, but houses with an unregistered keg may be fined $100 and put on social probation, and those attempting to delay or hinder the work of a monitoring team could be fined $200 and may be subject to a "lengthy probation," according to the new procedures.

Hawkins said enforcing the new policies will be "relatively easy" but will depend on the cooperation of the houses.

Muckle said CFSC is working to make sure the houses are prepared for the changes and met yesterday with house presidents and social chairs about the regulations.

Despite the efforts of the CFSC and the threat of fines or social probation, some members of Greek houses said the new policies will be difficult to enforce.

Steeves said he also has doubts about how effective the changes will be and said monitors "may face hostility, especially on big weekends."

"For the most part, houses will make preparations [for the monitors' arrival]," he said. "It probably will not change the social atmosphere."

The regulations come as a result of the administration's concern about the safety of the College's undergraduates and the College's compliance with state law.

If the College does not enforce state drinking laws, it risks losing federal funding, acting Dean of Residential Life Mary Liscinsky said.

Prior to the revisions, the College had never received a report of underage drinking from a student monitor, Liscinsky said.

She said she does not think the new regulations will eliminate underage drinking at the College, but said the College has "to do the best job we can in making sure we uphold the law and keep our students safe." The final policies were designed by CFSC members, College Proctor Bob McEwen, Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deb Reinders and Director of Health Resources Gabrielle Lucke.