Fraternities will be prohibited from throwing parties this weekend as they seek to implement new party rules. The newly required monitors have not yet been trained in time for the weekend.
The monitors are part of a new social policy the Interfraternity Council adopted in December due to fears of possible lawsuits resulting from behavior at parties. Many students said they are disappointed that they will not be able to attend fraternity parties upon their return from break.
“That kind of sucks because usually that first week of school everything is slow and people have time to see each other,” LSA sophomore Michael Montera said.
Parties without monitors would violate the new social policy, which regulates the conduct of the Greek community. Another significant change from the old policy is making parties exclusively Greek, said Dustin Schmuldt, the new IFC Vice President for Social Affairs.
Montera said he thought the new change would be good for fraternities because non-Greeks attending the parties would no longer have fun purely at the expense of fraternity houses.
Not all students share this opinion.
“I think we’re a generally open campus and to restrain social events to some people will discriminate against (them),” LSA freshman Tess Manion said. “I think it’s understandable. Maybe a good compromise would be a guest list instead of an exclusive Greek setup only.”
Greek leaders have said the new social policy will reduce the fraternities’ liability if a lawsuit is brought against them in the event that someone is injured or drinks to the point of alcohol poisoning at a party.
The current insurance plan already mandates that guests provide their own alcohol at parties, but IFC officials said many fraternities have not followed the insurance plan in the past.
“I’ve always heard rules being in place, but not being enforced,” said Engineering sophomore Aaron Swick, who is not in the Greek system.
To ensure enforcement, the social policy will incorporate the requirements of the insurance plan to protect against liability. The new rules will be enforced by members of fraternities who will be trained by IFC’s Social Responsibility Committee. Members of the committe will be charged with monitoring parties from inside and outside the houses and limiting attendance to the number of people reported for the party. The SRC monitors are also supposed to ensure partygoers abstain from drinking until getting sick or passing out.
But Manion said, “I don’t think frats and sororities should be responsible for the irresponsible things people do, like overdrinking and not knowing their limits.”
Manion, like many freshmen, said she attended numerous Greek parties during the first week of school. Some members of the Greek community have expressed concern that ending the tradition of allowing freshmen to crowd into fraternity parties at the beginning of the year would hurt Rush efforts. But IFC officials at a November meeting said massive parties were not helping Rush efforts because the total number of freshman rushing all fraternities in 2004 was about 400 — only a fraction of a single party’s attendance.
The IFC leaders further defended their position by saying that under a similar policy four years ago, the Greek community recruited twice as many people as it did this semester.