Linfield administrators have good intentions when cracking down on alcohol consumption and enforcing new safety precautions. But, is it fair and realistic to hold Greek Life responsible for these policies?
In a September 12 story, “Changes in Greek Life policy create mixed emotions,” Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of residence life, said in an interview that along with being prohibited from serving hard alcohol at social functions, fraternities are required to hire security guards through campus safety for each party.
“In looking at each year, we consider our various risk management factors, including our policies on alcohol,” Mackay said. “I was concerned with two issues- hard alcohol being served at fraternities and how that alcohol was being monitored.”
Although alcohol consumption is a problem on campus, we at the Review, do not think Greek Life is entirely responsible for alcohol-related issues.
In fact, the fraternities can provide a safe environment for people because of the alcohol and risk management training the members of Greek Life receive. Every semester, all of the Greek executives cover the symptoms of alcohol poisoning, distributing handouts of what to look for and showing PowerPoint presentations. In addition, every Friday and Saturday, the Greek Safety Patrol walks through the houses to make sure everything is running smoothly.
It seems that members of Greek Life are the most well-prepared students when it comes to dangerous party situations. There are even “sober sisters” and “sober brothers” in each sorority and fraternity. Members in each house have to stay completely sober for the week in order to make sure parties don’t get out of control and to help people get home safely if needed.
That being said, it doesn’t make much sense to target Greek Life as the source of all alcohol-related problems at Linfield.
Greek Life shouldn’t be made responsible for other people’s actions. Many people drink before they even arrive to a fraternity party. Even if the fraternities stop holding parties open to everyone, people are just going to go elsewhere.
Saying that Greek Life is unsafe isn’t a fair statement. It seems that there are individuals who act unsafely, putting everyone else at risk and ruining everyone’s fun. Punishing an entire group for the actions of a few individuals is neither fair nor effective. The parties will simply move to other locations, where the hosts may not be as prepared for danger as the members of Greek Life are. Administration should focus on cracking down on unsafe individuals rather than blaming an organization that knows how to handle these problems.
-The Review Editorial Board