Sorority events at fraternities may soon be dry
Nineteen out of 21 sororities showed their support Monday night for a Panhellenic Council resolution banning alcohol from sorority sponsored or co-sponsored events at fraternity houses.
The resolution, if passed during a meeting Sept. 19, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2001. It states the sororities which are members of the National Panhellenic Conference are only able to sponsor or co-sponsor alcohol-free functions in a fraternity house.
PHC President Erika London introduced the subject, identifying it as an issue that has been debated and eventually pushed off by PHC presidents the past several years.
"This is one of the hardest tests of my leadership," London said. "It was time to stop talking and take action. I am putting the resolution on the table."
Phi Delta Theta, Delta Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Sigma, Theta Xi will all go dry by 2000.
Alpha Kappa Lambda will go dry by 2001.
Theta Chi will go dry by 2003.
Alcohol can be included in a sorority function or a co-sponsored function if the event takes place in a state licensed third party vender. A licensed third party vender would include any hotel, restaurant or bar that is state-licensed to serve alcohol.
If a function that includes alcohol is held at a non-licensed third party vendor, requirements include alternative beverages, wristbands to identify 21 year olds and a "BYOB" policy. Also, there must be a state-licensed bartender and security guards responsible for checking both guest lists and proof of age.
In bringing this resolution to the table, London stressed the need for full PHC unity.
"We have to do it together, this is not something one sorority can do on its own," she said. "That's what separates us from the boys."
The meeting, which involved discussion, questions and open expressions of thoughts and fears, showed that an overwhelming majority agreed to back the resolution.
"Nineteen out of 21 sororities raised their hands and said 'I will take responsibility,' " London said. "Our members are saying 'hey, we're not afraid to accept these challenges and make changes, no matter how difficult it is.' It is unique that we have so much power to be self-governing on this campus."
Members of the Interfraternity Council executive board were on-hand during the meeting to discuss the impact this resolution would have on the greek community as a whole.
"Looking back at everything as a whole, I think this is the right thing to do," said IFC President David Britz. "This will hopefully funnel into the university as a whole."
National Panhellenic Council Co-President Parris Sandlin is in agreement with Britz.
"This is such a hard thing to do," Sandlin said. "The decisions you make are not always the popular decisions, but the popular decisions are not always right."
The NPHC already has an alcohol-free policy governing all of its functions.
"It promotes a greater unity not only among the council," Sandlin said, "but also among those who attend."
The issue also existed of how this resolution, if passed, is going to play out in the future.
"It's hard for me to say," London said. "Any decision you make you can never know the outcome."
Britz also said that the short-term results from other universities that have implemented this type of resolution have been positive. But, he adds, the other resolutions are still fairly recent.
"College kids all over the country are drinking, but we are not going to let an accident happen," Britz said. "The greek community is standing together on this. We are going to take a lead on this issue."
CLARIFICATION: When originally published, the graphic in this story did not clearly state the status of the Penn State chapter of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.