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Editorial: New fraternity alcohol policy solves nothing

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 29, 1999
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The Interfraternity Council's decision to move all fraternity parties where liquor is served off UA greek property is a misguided attempt to solve the system's problems with alcohol.

Obviously, any attempt at truly remedying problems that arise from wild parties where alcohol flows freely is a positive change for campus fraternities.

However, this change does not solve the problem of alcohol consumption within fraternities and is simply an attempt to improve the greek system's reputation.

First, by moving the parties off campus, IFC could actually put students at a greater risk.

Students who attend parties off campus will be forced to find a way home and may not necessarily use designated drivers or the shuttles provided to frat houses. As University of Arizona Police Department spokesman Sgt. Michael Smith said Tuesday, off-campus parties may force them to drive under the influence.

"I'm afraid (IFC's new policy) could increase DUI-related infractions because not everyone will use shuttles. It makes our job different," Smith said.

Second, if the fraternities really wanted to deal with alcohol problems at parties, officials would attempt to control the too-frequent abuse that takes place instead of simply moving the parties off campus.

This raises the question of what exactly IFC is trying to accomplish by moving frat parties off UA greek property.

As former Kappa Sigma president and computer engineering senior Rob Meadows said, "It's just a way for the UA (IFC) to avoid the issue and move the liability to an outside party."

Furthermore, IFC's new policy will force fraternities to spend money on renting expensive rooms to house their parties -Řfunds that could have been directed toward philanthropic endeavors. On-campus events cost fraternities $600. Renting a place to have the party could cost around $1,400.

Simply moving the parties out of fraternities accomplishes nothing. While it does limit the amount that partiers can consume in frat houses, it neglects to consider that individuals will continue to abuse alcohol on the premises.

Sadly, IFC's new policy actually legitimizes alcohol consumption by simply controlling where it takes place.

On the surface, it may make the greek system seem more responsible, when in fact it could endanger more students.

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