CSG and IFC to create water stations at fraternities on game days

Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 7:01pm

Central Student Government and the Interfraternity Council will work together to fund and coordinate a $6,000 program for water stations at fraternities on several football game days this fall.

The money will fund five water stations in an effort to reduce alcohol-related emergencies and promote healthier drinking habits among tailgating students. 

Stations will be located on Hill Street and State Street, where volunteers will help distribute free water to students and other tailgate attendees. Public Policy senior Dan Rebhan, vice president of IFC public relations, said the locations will all be at fraternity houses near or on the way to Michigan Stadium.

“The reason why we chose these five places is that they will intersect the most traffic,” he said. “We strategically placed all these hydration stations so that we can reach the most students.”

The stations were included in the party platform for NEWmich, whose executive ticket won the CSG elections for the coming year. Last year, CSG also addressed game-day safety by creating earlier hours at some dining halls on game day.

LSA senior Micah Griggs, CSG vice president, said the hydration stations were piloted by IFC last year, which sparked the collaboration between the two groups.

Rebhan said the collaboration between CSG and IFC helped the idea move from being a pilot program to fully being implemented.

“I think Greek life and CSG doing this together makes the most sense,” he said. “We are the most effective movers and shakers on campus; we have very large networks. … That’s probably why this works now.”

Currently, the stations are slated to only be in place for the first five home football games. However, Rebhan and Griggs both said they hoped the effort will be extended to be in place during the other three home games, as well as expand to more locations.

Of the $6,000 total cost, CSG will fund 40 percent and the IFC 25 percent. The Panhellenic Council will also provide 25 percent. The remaining cost will be split between other collaborators including the National Panhellenic Association, LSA Student Government and the University Health Service’s Stay in the Blue campaign. The water will be provided by Aquapure.

The University of Michigan’s administration has also introduced multiple initiatives aimed at drinking in the past year, most with a slightly different focus — curbing underage alcohol consumption. These initiatives have included a new community policing stratagy and a push to shorten the time between when students move-in in the fall and when classes begin. 

Griggs and Rebhan said alcohol safety is a major concern for their organizations, and both are working on other efforts to curb dangerous behavior, including CSG-sponsored alcohol-free tailgate parties and removing hard liquor from IFC tailgates.

 “We are both passionate about student safety, and we recognize that we have a huge drinking problem or culture on campus,” Griggs said. “We want to encourage safe drinking and staying hydrated on game day.”

Noting that CSG and IFC are two of the largest organizations on campus, Rebhan said he hopes their partnership will continue into other policy areas.

“This has been a really great experience that shows the community between CSG and Greek life,” he said. “And it shows the potential for both of our communities in that when we work together we can do great things.”