After pledging the fraternity Chi Psi as a freshman, LSA senior Jose Nunez learned of the tragic story of Lynn “Gordie” Bailey.
Bailey, a Chi Psi pledge in 2004, died after a night of binge drinking with fellow pledges in what was recently judged an act of hazing after a four-year lawsuit.
That story shaped Nunez’s approach toward regulating drinking in Greek Life during his term as Interfraternity Council president in 2008.
“Anything can happen at any moment, and if we’re going to do this, we need to do it right,” Nunez said of alcohol consumption. “It’s fine, because it comes with Greek life and college, but we need to be responsible doing it.” His mantra led to some difficult — and frequently unpopular — decisions by Nunez, who previously served as Vice President of Social Responsibility in 2007.
After deeming the existing Sober Monitors program insufficient, since monitors are often 18-year-old freshmen who know little about alcohol safety, Nunez teamed up with UHS to create the Sober Monitor Training Program. He wanted to insure the sobriety of monitors and gained the right for the IFC to breathalyze sober monitors during parties.
Nunez also tried to enforce the “Bring Your Own Alcohol” policy for parties, which banished kegs in favor of a system requiring guests to check their own alcohol supply in a designated spot that they could visit whenever they needed a refill.
The policy was ultimately a flop, but Nunez’s constant campaigning for a safer and more open Greek system has left a mark.
Nunez also helped found the Lambda Alliance, a group joining the Spectrum Center and LGBT allies in the Greek system that aims to foster open acceptance of LGBT students through workshops and other joint events.
“The guy is a bulldog — he’s not going to back down from anything or ever take the easy route,” Chi Psi president Mike Rorro said. “He goes after things he truly believes. That’s why he’s a great leader.”
Nunez won the University’s Outstanding Student Leader Award last Thursday and also received Honorable Mention for the University’s Student Legacy Award. He has also been nominated for the IFC’s Greek Man of the Year Award, to be announced April 17.