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Fraternity parties to leave UA houses

By Ryan Gabrielson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 23, 1999
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UA fraternities will phase out all GAMMA-sponsored events at chapter houses during the next two years, eventually forcing all parties where alcohol is served - except Homecoming - off of UA greek property, the university's Greek Life coordinator confirmed yesterday.

The decision was made after the University of Arizona's Interfraternity Council passed the Proposal for Social Event Relocation at its meeting last Tuesday.

After a few weeks of discussion and amendments to the original proposal, IFC officials decided to take measures against events involving alcohol at the chapter houses.

"I think this follows with the national trend," said Jeff Evans, president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. "It was something the IFC and the chapters really wanted to do."

Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol is an organization composed of greek members that regulates alcohol use and safety at fraternity parties. All parties must be approved by GAMMA, which requires chapters to hire security guards and police officers at their events.

In fall of 2000, the 22 active University of Arizona fraternities will only be allowed to hold five GAMMA-sponsored events, which will be reduced to three in the spring of 2001. Starting the following semester, the only gathering with alcohol allowed at chapter houses will be Homecoming.

"They're trying to model the Residence Life policy in which if you're old enough to drink, then you can on the premises," said UA Dean of Students Melissa Vito.

The proposal does not outline rules or limitations on alcohol in the houses, as long as it is not being consumed by underage members.

"The greek system is not going dry - it's nothing drastic like that," said Bob Gordon, coordinator of Greek Life programs.

IFC President Alex Rios has been drafting the resolution since last December and said that it should improve the overall quality of the fraternities.

"There was resistance from the older members since it's such a big change, but they'll adapt," Rios said yesterday.

Recently, 11 UA sororities adopted their own resolutions supporting alcohol-free fraternities. The UA has five "dry" houses, most recently including the Phi Gamma Delta chapter which will become alcohol-free in fall 2000.

Fraternities will eventually have to rent out locations for their parties, which will still be regulated by revised GAMMA rules.

"All social events will continue to be registered through GAMMA and will continue to follow relevant policy," the resolution states.

Rios said the fraternities will take extra precautions to reduce safety hazards that the relocation could create.

"We're going to have shuttles and vans to eliminate the drunk driving aspect," Rios said.

Part of the resolution indicates plans to form partnerships with local businesses to obtain lower rates for party locations and lessen the financial burden on fraternities.

Task forces have been assigned to monitor the resolution's tenets and are scheduled to release their findings next semester.

The proposal also adds an element of alcohol education.

All chapters will have at least one educational presentation every semester on the implications of alcohol abuse and other topics related to the issue.

"You can't make that kind of change without education," Rios said.

Gordon said the new regulations will not impact recruiting of fraternity pledges.

"We're not recruiting guys to drink," Gordon said.

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