IFC policy allows alcohol at fraternity houses

Fraternities can now apply for alcohol accreditation.
Cait Campbell / Graphic Designer

In an effort to promote a healthy culture and responsible management of alcohol within the fraternities, the Interfraternity Council has introduced a new alcohol policy.

The policy, which was implemented Aug. 16, now allows chapters to have alcohol on their properties if they meet an annual accreditation process. Previously, all chapters were considered "dry" and could not have alcohol.

“Just like every college campus, alcohol is an issue that must be managed to ensure a safe environment for all students,” said Brad Rhodes, IFC Vice President of Risk Management, in an email. “We realized that IFC’s old alcohol policy didn’t give us the most effective way to manage that risk. With safety as a primary concern of both the Interfraternity Council and the Office of Greek Life, we had an obligation to draft a more effective policy.”

The policy mandates chapters must apply for alcohol-approved status and be proficient in four categories: academics, risk management, member development and conduct. Once a chapter is alcohol-approved, it must then follow restrictions set forth by the new policy.

Only members and guests of legal age may consume alcohol and communal sources of alcohol, grain alcohol and drinking games are not allowed, according to the IFC website.

A third party security firm, Signal 88, will be conducting audits throughout the year to ensure the policy is being followed. The audits will occur seven days a week and, typically, three times per month, according to the IFC website. The Office of Student Conduct/Greek Conduct will handle chapters that do not comply with the policy after the first offense. The IFC president and the IFC vice president of risk management will handle the first minor offense.

IFC President Patrick Wolff said the policy and audit process are designed to help manage alcohol within fraternity houses.

“Various chapter leaders came together and decided there needed to be a change in the culture of our fraternities," IFC spokesman Jonathan Strope said in an email. “They have worked to create a policy that helps hold chapters accountable for their actions.”

The Office of Greek Life created a task force made up of students, alumni and stakeholders in the Greek Life community to reform the alcohol policy, Wolff said in an email.

“The work groups and task force submitted recommendations for a new IFC alcohol policy,” Wolff said in an email. “The 2011 IFC Executive Board then developed the final policy from the recommendations, which was voted upon by the individual chapter presidents.”

Although the policy has introduced a large shift in procedure and culture, chapters have been generally supportive of the change, Rhodes said in an email. Chapter presidents gave input into the discussion, and a two-thirds vote was also required to pass the policy.

“As with anything new, a lot of the questions and concerns that we have received stem from a lack of understanding about the new policy,” Wolff said in an email. “We have provided our chapter presidents with a large amount of educational information for their members to help them hopefully better understand the policy, but we expect it to take time before everyone understands the changes perfectly.”

Acacia, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Kappa Theta are currently alcohol-approved.

“The new policy should not have any effect on the membership of Mizzou's fraternity community,” Wolff said in an email. “The policy will provide a positive change within our fraternities and help them continue to excel on Mizzou's campus.”

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