Students push risk management, alcohol policy revisions

Students are pushing for administration to allow hard alcohol back into Greek Life social functions.

The request for an alcohol policy change also emphasizes an increase in campus-wide alcohol education and clear definition of a social function, junior Leanne McCallum, Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity tribune, said.

McCallum said that she collaborated with other Greek life members to compose a formal request to revise policies.

This was spurred by Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students’, earlier mandate that eliminated hard alcohol from Greek social functions and required students to hire security for all parties through College Public Safety.

“We are proposing a new policy because students felt that [Mackay’s] policy was a bit radical,” McCallum said. “But this counter-proposal isn’t a negative one. It’s been positive because we’re working with [Mackay] and he’s given us great feedback.”

But despite students’ efforts to reintroduce hard alcohol into social functions, Mackay said that he isn’t completely sold on the idea yet.

“They’ve been doing a great job of coming up with creative solutions to the issues on an internal level, but we still need to look at the situation externally,” he said. “What are other small, private colleges in the area doing? What organizations have successful risk management programs? We need to get ideas from them.”

Mackay said that he encouraged students to look at existing risk management programs to boost the credibility of their proposal.

He recommended that they research policies by the Fraternal Information and Programing Group (FIPG), an organization that tailors risk management programs to the specific needs of Greek life.

McCallum said that the group looked at FIPG’s website and found the risk management suggestions useful, but that she wanted the revised policy to be more inclusive of Linfield’s entire campus.

Linfield’s Greek life members go through semesterly alcohol information sessions and risk management training programs, McCallum said.

However, she said she doesn’t see as stringent of standards for the rest of Linfield’s students.

McCallum and Mackay agreed that it is important to agree on a definition of what a social function is.

McCallum said that originally, MacKay defined a social function as an instance where five or more people were dancing under a disco ball.

McCallum said her proposal redefines a social function as a pre-planned gathering.

“Sometimes friends get together without planning to, which can look a lot like a party, even if that isn’t what they planned for or intended,” McCallum said.

Mackay said that he defines a social function as an event that a reasonable person could observe and describe as a party or an event.

Both Mackay and McCallum said that the final risk management program will include a set definition of what a social function entails.

Students hope to have the revised policy in effect in time for Spring Semester, McCallum said.

She said they plan to present the latest draft of their policy before Thanksgiving Break.

“The media has created this image of Greek Life being all about partying, but I see Greek Life as a philanthropy and as a group of students with high standards for themselves,” McCallum said. “We want  our revised risk management policy to reflect that.”

Joanna Peterson/
Managing editor
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