Asu Police Worried After Fraternities Alter Initial Alcohol Ban
February 23, 2011 · Published By Student Journalist
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University’s Interfraternity Council did not see its initial ban on alcohol working out, but ASU police and chapter leaders say they worry the new policy will provide loopholes for party-going fraternity members.
After a 15-3 vote to approve a ban on alcohol at all fraternity social events during a Feb. 7 meeting, IFC altered the policy in order to reward the chapters in good standing with the university by creating a set of guidelines to determine which fraternities can hold events with alcohol and which can’t.
ASU Police Crime Prevention Officer Brian Kiefling said that since the policy focuses on alcohol presence at social events, it presents “significant loopholes for what would count as a social event” and what standards fraternities would realistically be held accountable for.
“(Fraternities) are held to a higher standard, much like a police officer is,” Kiefling said. “They are supposed to be outgoing in the community, which is how a fraternity used to be, and it has kind of been twisted to a place to go and party instead… and we’re looking to change that attitude.”
Kiefling said he believes it is in the fraternities’ best interests to govern themselves more strictly to create a safer environment for students in Greek life and the areas they tend to congregate.
“I can only speculate that it is in response to recent events that IFC has taken a more hands-on approach to governing their members,” Kiefling said. “I’m not saying the university is looking to kick them off, but (Alpha Drive) is prime property, so if the fraternities can’t govern themselves… then the university will just build something else.”
The new policy states that in order for an ASU fraternity to host events with alcohol, the chapter must have fulfilled at least two of three requirements: earning a grade point average above ASU’s All-Men’s GPA, attending all IFC meetings, and remaining in good standing with the university.
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity Social Chair Garrett Wood said he believes that “below the surface,” the policy will not have an overwhelming effect on campus safety and will most likely create more unofficial events that IFC is not made aware of.
“On the surface these qualifications will give the Greek community a better image at ASU,” Wood said. “However, alcohol is so engrained in the culture of many fraternities that I find it hard to believe they will stop having alcohol at their events.”
A strain in the relationship between ASU administration and fraternities exists that the alcohol policy, if actually followed, could mend, Wood said.
“ASU does not like, as of any university, bad publicity,” Kiefling noted. “And we don’t like our students getting caught doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”
Wood said that any fraternities hope that the policy makes its mark on ASU Greek life, and it is up to each chapter to make that happen.
While each fraternity abiding by the policy may interpret it in different ways, Wood and Kiefling agreed that it could be a step toward safer fraternity events and a more positive image of Greek life community-wide.
“If fraternities actually take these policies to heart and strive to be more academically focused and less inclined to host dangerous events, it could mean great things for the Greek life at ASU,” Wood said.
“But every member of a fraternity must realize they have a responsibility to seriously try to fix these flaws in order for the policy changes to truly make their mark.”
Guest article contributed by Kirsten Adams, Student
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication