Policy keeps Greek Life out of The Jungle

Chapters cannot participate without a licensed alcohol vendor present.

No Greek Life chapter or council is allowed to participate as a whole at The Jungle, the newly organized student tailgating area. According to the Office of Greek Life, the policies that govern the councils and individual chapters prevent them from reserving a spot.

“It’s against a lot of chapters’ national policies to do so because there isn’t a licensed liquor venue involved,” Panhellenic Association spokeswoman Michelle Hanko said.

The policy in question states the Interfraternity Council and PHA may not participate in off-campus events where there is no licensed liquor venue distributing alcohol because their insurance policies won’t cover such events. The Jungle is seen as a liability because there is no licensed venue involved.

According to Policy VII of the IFC Constitution, Bylaws and Policy Manual, “All social events shall use an approved third party vendor and chapters may not co-sponsor events or fundraiser with a third party vendor or alcohol distributor where alcohol is given away, sold, or provided to those present.”

The Jungle will be on-campus and there will be no alcohol provided or sold at the event, but IFC President Brandon Green said these are the specific policies preventing Greek Life from reserving a space at the tailgate.

Green said in order for the councils or chapters to participate, a change in this policy would have to be proposed by a president of a fraternity or sorority and then approved by both PHA and IFC, as their constitutions must align on the issue.

At the biweekly IFC presidents’ meeting Thursday night, no president stepped up to propose a policy change, Green said.

As of this time, no fraternity or sorority can participate in The Jungle.

“I am a Greek student,” Missouri Students Association President Tim Noce said. “I feel like there’s a big problem if I don’t know what’s going on because I represent all students, both Greek and non-Greek, and if I can’t tell what is going on, how is everyone else supposed to?”

Office of Greek Life Coordinator Julie Drury said both the office and MSA hope to work out an agreement that would let fraternities and sororities reserve spots in the future.

“The staff in our office and many student leaders have been in communication with leaders from MSA for the past year working to achieve a mutually respective policy, but that has not been achieved at this point,” she said.

Although there is no official reserved area for any of the Greek Life councils at The Jungle, Hanko expects many Greek Life members to tailgate there with other Student Life organizations.

At previous tailgate locations, including Reactor Field and Frat Pit, chapters could tailgate together.

“It’s a hassle because we’re all walking to the game together because we have group seating with the sorority, so we should be able to tailgate together before, too,” freshman Alpha Phi member Jessica Puckett said. “It would be more fun.”

Hanko said neither the Office of Greek Life nor any of the councils host Greek Life-wide tailgating events and individual chapters typically don’t have organized tailgates, aside from Parents’ Weekend activities. These tailgates generally don’t involve alcohol and usually take place at the chapter house or another site before the game begins.

The Jungle is the latest in MU’s long line of efforts to create a safe and regulated tailgating space.

“There always seems to be some sort of an attempt to have an organized tailgating system,” Hanko said. “I know that a lot of different universities have systems that work really well. It’s just a matter of finding something that works for the university and for the students.”

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