Greek community takes initiative against alcohol overconsumption

Caroline Kehrli, Staff Writer

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (Panhel) have made efforts to address the overconsumption of alcohol on the University’s campus, especially for this weekend’s “Welcome Night” which marks the first night for new members of Greek organizations. According to Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar, there have been four alcohol-related hospitalizations since Aug. 1. For the 2015-2016 academic year, there were 97 alcohol-related hospitalizations.

Keeping in mind the campus-wide problem of alcohol overconsumption, members of the Greek community are actively taking steps to ensure the safety of all University students. At a joint meeting between IFC, Panhel, and selected fraternity and sorority members on Aug. 24, policies were set in place that established more structured safety precautions compared to previous years. According to William Pomerantz ’17, Vice President of Internal Affairs for IFC, each chapter is required to have a minimum of 10 sober and responsible members.

Eight members of the Greek monitoring team will also be monitoring the members of each organization throughout the night to ensure they are following event protocol as established by IFC.

Chapter members heard from University Title IX Coordinator Kathleen Grimes and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator Rachel Stewart, both of whom reminded students of federal law as well as the University’s Title IX policy. Life & Fire Safety Officer Bob Ulmer was also present to discuss the policies set in place by Public Safety to ensure the health and safety of all students.

Dean of Students Amy Badal also was in attendance to remind students of the amnesty policy.

“We were very thankful for Dean Badal to help teach us more about the amnesty policy Bucknell has in place,” Pomerantz said. “Unfortunately, we had a number of hospitalizations last year during this weekend from all classes and all sexes. While our goal is to see that number become zero, we want to make sure that if someone does need help that people will call.”

“IFC and Panhel were very pleased with the cooperation of the organizations in attendance, and we believe this was undeniably a necessary step prior to the welcome night festivities,” Judicial Vice President of Panhel Alexa Krieger ’18 said.

This message will also be imparted to the new members of the Greek community at the Welcome Dinner on Sept. 3. New members will hear from speakers, including University President John Bravman, about the importance of safety and responsibility.

Members “will get the chance to ask questions and be fully educated on the festivities of the weekend ahead,” Krieger said.

While these policies are vital to students’ health and safety, they are not entirely new. Krieger, as well as the presidents and standards directors of each Panhellenic chapter, took steps last semester to implement crucial changes and prioritize risk management among chapter women. Talks like the one conducted on Aug. 24 have been ongoing among sorority women since January 2016.

“A lot of the incidents I see could have been prevented if those involved used better judgement and common sense. Look out for your fellow students. If you see someone who might need help, err on the side of caution and give us a call,” Barilar said.

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