Penn’s alcohol policy may be up for review, according to leaders in the Greek community.
Last fall, the Interfraternity Council conducted a survey assessing alcohol consumption habits of Penn students. However, its results were never published as originally planned.
The survey, which was open to the entire student body, was intended to “accumulate hard data” to revise the University’s alcohol policy, College senior and former IFC Vice President of Strategic Planning David Dobkin said.
The results of the survey showed that an “overwhelming majority of the Penn community” disagrees with Penn’s alcohol policy, Wharton junior and IFC President Harris Heyer said.
Heyer said many of the major changes the IFC proposed to the policy were met with resistance from administrators in early stages.
The IFC “tabled the discussion” to re-evaluate what policy changes may be plausible for the University, he added.
The current alcohol policy — which applies to the entire student body including Greek organizations — states parties must be registered with the Vice Provost for University Life, among other regulations.
“Registered parties provide for a safe atmosphere to drink in a regulated environment,” Dobkin said. “As long as you follow the guidelines of the policy, it removes the liability from the chapter if anything goes wrong.”
Registered parties cannot have hard alcohol and can only have four beer or wine drinks per expected guest, the policy states. In addition, alcohol monitors and sober members of the organization must be present.
Because of these regulations, many students choose to go to off-campus parties to consume hard alcohol, Heyer said. Registered parties are safer than unregistered parties where “taking shots and binge drinking” occurs, he added.
Chapters dislike hosting registered parties, which are more expensive than unregistered parties, Dobkin said.
“In general, people don’t perceive [registered] parties as fun and they don’t want to go there because all they can drink is beer.”
An Engineering sophomore and a former fraternity social chairman — who wished to remain anonymous due to the implications of underage drinking — said people will continue to have off-campus parties “until the University policy gets up to speed with what people are interested in and loosen up a little bit so it’s possible for different types of events to happen.”
The University must approve an event plan submitted by the organization the Monday before the registered party. There must be two security guards for every four hundred guests and at least one bartender at events with alcohol, he added.
“It may be more acceptable to have parties on campus, but the process of registering and throwing a registered party has become a real hassle for many fraternities,” IFC Executive Vice President and College junior Wyatt Hilkene wrote in an email.
In order to change the policy, it would require the input of key stakeholders across the University community, director of Student Affairs/Fraternity Sorority Life Scott Reikofski wrote in an email.
“We are open to any future discussion and efforts that can further enhance safe practices and the well-being of our community,” Senior Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Ajay Nair wrote in an email.
“We are probably going to revisit the policy” and attempt to make small changes to it, Heyer said.Comments powered by Disqus
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