The Greek community at CSU is now completely dry following
Monday’s deadline to remove alcohol from fraternity houses.
Greek leaders voted to ban alcohol from all fraternity houses in
response to issues that arose following the alcohol-related death
of sophomore Samantha Spady on Sept. 5 in the Sigma Pi fraternity
CSU has 23 fraternities and 15 sororities. Eleven fraternities
and eight sororities have houses. Of those with houses, five
fraternities and all the sororities were already
Mark Koepsell, director of Greek Life, said he thinks the
fraternities will make the transition without any problems.
“It’s pretty black and white,” Koepsell said. “They either are
(substance-free) or they aren’t. They’ve known for four weeks.
Previously, (fraternities and sororities) weren’t having social
functions at their houses anyways. It shouldn’t be a hard
Brian Johnston, Greek Judicial Board vice president, said
parties have not been allowed at Greek houses since spring semester
“What (Greek organizations) can do is rent a bar in town and
have a function at the bar,” Johnston said. “It reduces the
liability on the fraternity having the party.”
While some fraternity members expressed concern over the
changes, Inter-Fraternity Council President Patrick Hutchinson said
the Greek community will benefit.
“This is not the first time we have had challenges to overcome,”
Hutchinson said. “I think we can set a precedent to lead the
community in a way that eliminates any other incidents or accidents
Hutchinson said the implementation of the rule will help rid the
community of its “Animal House” image.
“I think a lot of Greeks didn’t have issues with alcohol abuse,”
Hutchinson said. “It’s important that we show the community, as
well as the university, that we are organizations built on ideals
Koepsell agreed the decision would produce positive changes.
“Clearly there are members struggling with the decision,” he
said. “Their elected leaders made the decision to ensure a positive
future. We are not founded to come together and drink beer.”
A national trend in Greek communities has been to move toward
substance-free houses, Koepsell said, with more organizations
“It’s been proven through several independent studies that when
a fraternity removes alcohol (from the house) the property stays
cleaner, retention of members goes up, recruitment goes up, alumni
giving goes up and the overall satisfaction with the experience is
higher,” Koepsell said.
Hutchinson feels the four-week span between the initial decision
to Monday implementation was enough time to rid houses of
“I think because it is such a drastic change it didn’t matter
when it happened,” Hutchinson said. “It would be just as hard any
Johnston said most of the issues brought to the Greek Judicial
Board involve alcohol. Any alcohol-related issue in the Greek
system is required to be heard by the board. Johnston said the
vagueness of the no-party rule created problems.
“The party-free decision was vague. It didn’t outline how many
(people) had to be there to be considered a party,” Johnston said.
“(This rule) is straight no alcohol so I think there will be less
Implementation of the new rule is left to individual houses, but
any problems will be brought to the judicial board, Johnston said.
Penalties for noncompliance will be reviewed on a case-by-case
basis and may include sanctions, fines and loss of recognition by
the university or the fraternity national chapter or both.
Despite opposition, Hutchinson feels the new rule was necessary
to restore the image of Greek life at CSU.
“I hope this is an opportunity for us to completely exemplify
the true values we represent and not the stereotypes,” Hutchinson
“I think the vast majority (of the Greek community) accepts it,”
he said. “We look at it as a way to improve our chapters and bring
members back to founding values. I think a lot are looking at this
as an opportunity to do that.”