When the Greeks go Dry

Sep 222004
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

CSU fraternities and sororities are mapping out a plan to become alcohol-free by Oct. 11.

The Greek community voted to ban alcohol at all Greek houses in response to sophomore Samantha Spady’s death in a fraternity house on Sept. 5.

Mark Koepsell, director of Greek Life, said dealing with alcohol in the Greek system has been an issue since 2000.

“For the last four years we’ve been grappling with how to effectively deal with alcohol in the Greek system,” Koepsell said. “Samantha’s death prompted the Greek community to take the next step down that road.”

The policy will go into affect on Oct. 11 and will prohibit alcohol in chapter houses around campus, Koepsell said.

The standards board for each individual house will deal with individual violations. If there is a violation on the chapter level, the Greek judicial board will handle the punishment. Cases will be taken on a case-by-case basis, Koepsell said.

The punishment will depend on the violation’s severity and whether there have been previous violations. Each person who is cited for a violation will have a chance to defend himself or herself at a hearing.

The student presidents, not the university, made the decision. There was an “overwhelming consensus,” Koepsell said.

“(Samantha’s death) showed us we aren’t as true to our values and core beliefs,” said Patrick Hutchinson, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. “We weren’t representing ourselves in the right way.”

All sorority houses and nine fraternity houses were dry before the official ban. Now, the fraternities that were not previously dry are trying to decide how to implement the policy and get as much information as they can, Hutchinson said.

“We’re on the forefront of what fraternities are about: scholarship, service and leadership,” Hutchinson said. “I hope it highlights that we’re an asset to the university.”

Hutchinson feels one-on-one relationships are the key to recruiting, not alcohol. Fraternities and sororities are looking for people who represent their individual letters and the Greek system well.

Natalie Townsend, a junior construction management major and non-Greek, hopes the new policy will help curb drinking levels but is not sure how effective it will be.

“I feel like it is a step in a positive direction,” Townsend said. “I think it is a step to try and bring the fraternities and sororities back to the original intention of having a strong positive influence on the community of CSU.”

Townsend feels an effort is being made to change the stereotypes many people have of the Greek system, and is glad they have the desire to change.

Townsend said her view of Greek Life has improved, knowing that there is a desire to stop drinking and prevent further tragedies from occurring.

Koepsell agreed and hopes people will see the alcohol ban not only as a response to Spady’s death, but also an attempt to emphasize the core values of the Greek system.

“I sincerely hope that it removes the stereotype that fraternities and sororities exist to promote and provide a party culture on campus,” Koepsell said.

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