By Yardain Amron, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 20, 2014
Some fraternity parties will now be a little easier on the liver.
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In a nearly unanimous vote Wednesday night, the Interfraternity Council amended its Social Environment Management Policy to ban hard liquor at fraternities’ open parties. The new policy will be effective immediately.
Business senior Michael Proppe, Central Student Government president, first announced the policy change at the meeting of the University’s Board of Regents Thursday.
“This is a proactive step that Michigan students are taking to improve our safety on campus, and I commend the IFC leadership,” Proppe said.
The new policy comes less than two months into IFC President Tommy Wydra’s first term as the organization’s leader. Proppe said Wydra is getting off to a successful start.
The SEMP amendment applies to Tier IIIA and Tier IIIB parties, known as “open parties,” which are limited to 200 guests, along with the hosting fraternity members.
“Due to the elimination of hard liquor at Tier IIIA and IIIB events, students will enjoy a safer social scene at the University of Michigan for years to come,” the IFC stated in a press release.
The policy will not apply to National Pan-Hellenic Council or Multicultural Greek Council parties because SEMP only applies to the IFC and Pan-Hellenic Association.
Wydra said the new policy extends only to open parties and not lower-tier parties because the former tend to be the riskiest, such as those during Welcome Week or on Halloween.
“Many of the Greeks get so much training, whether it’s sober monitor training or alcohol awareness, so we feel they can manage those Tier II parties much more easily,” Wydra said. “I have absolutely no plans to expand it to Tier II or Tier IIICs.”
Proppe said the amendment will help improve safety at the larger parties.
“The nice thing about a Tier II party is you know who is going to be there and so it’s a little bit more of a controlled environment,” Proppe said. “At a Tier III party that’s open to students who are not necessarily a part of the Greek organization, it’s harder to control and hold people accountable.”
Kinesiology junior Elive Likine, a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, better known as Pike, said the policy might do the opposite of its intention.
“I think it’s going to turn into people pre-gaming harder and drinking faster in preparation because they'll know they won’t be able to have it at the party,” Likine said. “Some people just don't like beer. When you prevent something like this, I feel like it will end up blowing up in their own face.”
As for enforcement, Wydra said the Social Responsibility Committee — a group of Greek members who enforce current SEMP policy — would be able to take on the amendment.
“When SRC comes they hit the bathroom, they hit the bar, wherever people are SRC goes and checks,” Wydra said. “They’re going to be interacting with guests at these parties and randomly checking three to five guest IDs. As long as there is no hard alcohol, it will be ok.”
Wydra added that he believes the amendment will be accepted without much controversy among members of Greek Life.
“Once every Greek member completely understands the policy they will be on board with it,” Wydra said. “It’s a lot different if the Greeks think we’re taking away something just to take away something rather than doing it with good intentions.”