Editor’s note: A previous version of this story did not contain key information regarding UO’s current ban on alcohol in Greek chapters.
NIC’s new policy will expand UO’s current alcohol ban for fraternities, which bans alcohol in official chapter facilities, wrote Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Caitlin Roberts in an email.
“The NIC policy applies not only to chapter facilities, but all social events as well,” Roberts wrote.
To be affiliated with the University of Oregon, the school’s policy requires all fraternity and sorority chapters to have alcohol-free housing, according to an Emerald article written in 2002.
The UO President at the time, Dave Frohnmayer, approved the standards to mitigate drinking in some fraternity houses.
Fraternities that did not provide an agreement in writing stating they would abide by this standard would lose “access to University services,” according to the article, including assistance with recruitment and the free use of intramural fields and meeting rooms.
NIC policy will prohibit alcohol at “any chapter event,” according to the organization’s press release, but alcohol will be allowed to be served by licensed third-party vendors during registered fraternity events, according to the NIC website.
This means that hard liquor can still be served at registered events, which could include any off-campus social events.
The Emerald was directed to speak with Roberts only via email and was told that Roberts would be the only point of contact between the UO Fraternity and Sorority Life office and the Emerald on Sept. 12. This method of communication impedes any attempts by the Emerald to ask questions of university administrators. Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Tayler Marshall declined to be interviewed when approached in person.
Most University of Oregon and other college fraternities will no longer be able to serve hard liquor in fraternity chapter facilities and at chapter events, the North-American Interfraternity Conference announced on Sept. 4 in a press release.
The NIC decision comes as part of a series of health and safety initiatives implemented by the national fraternity organization after nationwide binge-drinking and hazing-related deaths in fraternities this year.
“At their core, fraternities are about brotherhood, personal development and providing a community of support. Alcohol abuse and its serious consequences endanger this very purpose,” said NIC President Judson Horras in the press release.
The majority of fraternities at UO are members of the NIC, which will require its fraternities to adopt policies banning drinks that are 15 percent or more alcohol by volume by September 2019.
The UO Interfraternity Council, which is a committee consisting of the 16 NIC fraternities at UO, will meet in mid-October to craft specific policy points, but it is unclear what the specific policy will look like, Roberts said.
UO recognizes 16 NIC-affiliated chapters on campus, including Pi Kappa Alpha, Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
The resolution, adopted by the NIC on Aug. 27, bans hard liquor “in any chapter facility or at any chapter event,” including the private living spaces of students who are 21 or older.
But hard liquor may still be served by third-party vendors at registered fraternity events.
Other NIC health and safety initiatives include a Good Samaritan policy that encourages students to call 911 during emergencies and a policy that requires NIC fraternities to educate members in baseline health and safety topics.
“There’s really nothing more to share at this time,” Roberts said in an email on Wednesday.
Non-NIC fraternities, such as Sigma Lambda Beta, will not be affected by the ban.
Pennsylvania State University student Timothy Piazza, Florida State University student Andrew Coffey and Texas State University student Matthew Ellis were some of those who suffered hazing-related deaths in 2017. Piazza’s parents have since formed an anti-hazing coalition that aims to strengthen state hazing laws and expand education for high school and college-aged students, according to NJ.com.
UO IFC President Sam Michaan did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails for comment. UO IFC Vice President Carter Kruse and Director of Community Engagement Owen Kemp declined to be interviewed for this story.