Changes in Greek Life policy create mixed emotions
Since the beginning of Fall Semester, Greek life has experienced new restrictions at social functions, including the elimination of hard alcohol during parties in order to increase student safety.
Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of residence life, said that along with being prohibited from serving hard alcohol at social functions, fraternities are required to hire security guards through College Public Safety for each party.
“We were getting mixed results from the security last year,” Mackay said. “I got complaints that some of the officers were more interested in getting a paycheck than doing their jobs.”
Mackay said these new policies were not based on any one incident
“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.”
Mackay said he thought the former alcohol policies were too lenient and were creating challenges for students, including alcohol poisoning and trips to the hospital.
“I proposed to eliminate hard alcohol from fraternity and sorority parties unless it’s served by an Oregon Liquor Control Commission-licensed server,” he said.
Mackay said that introducing these policy changes upset fraternity and sorority members, so he is allowing them to propose their own changes and formal plans of action.
“I’ve challenged Greek leaders to show me other colleges’ policies and some national guidelines so that we’re doing things safely and properly.”
Senior David King, Interfraternity Council president and Kappa Sigma Fraternity member, said that the policy shifts came as a surprise to him.
“It was kind of weird when they told us the new rules,” King said. “We had just had one of the best semesters ever, so it came as a slap in the face.”
King said that he along with other fraternity and sorority members were accepting Mackay’s offer to create their own policy proposal.
“Since [Mackay] is requiring that we hire an OLCC-licensed server for parties, we’re proposing that we put our own people through classes so that they could serve.”
King said that he foresees some possible problems with the new policies, such as students’ safety.
“One thing that we brought to [Mackay] is that we try to educate all our brothers and sisters on alcohol to create a safer environment for parties,” King said. “These new restrictions might push students to find parties off-campus, where people aren’t as aware and controlled.”
Although the policy shifts came as a surprise to him, King said that he appreciated the offer to come up with an alternate plan.
“I’m glad that we’re working together with the administration as opposed to having rules thrown at us,” he said. “It’s nice that they’re willing to let us change it up a bit.”
Joanna Peterson/Managing editor
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