Oct 112004
Authors: Erin Skarda

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

from occurring.”

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

and values.”

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

banning alcohol.

“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

other time.”

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


Johnston agreed.

“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.”









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