September 15, 2005

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The InterFraternity Council has established a new set of event management guidelines that apply to both fraternities and sororities on Cornell’s campus.

The guidelines institute expectations which promote safe and responsible behavior at all Greek events. The three Greek governing councils encourage compliance with the new guidelines as well as local and state laws. These regulations will be monitored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

As a result of the new guidelines, all organizations must register events with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. Chapter presidents, social chairs and risk management officers are required to attend an event management training session at the beginning of each semester as well.

Alex Deyle ’06, president of the IFC, said the new guidelines came about as “an expression of the Greek community’s dedication to promoting the safety of its members and guests.”

While many of the new expectations are similar to the old guidelines, there is a fundamental difference between the two.

“As a method of enforcement, the chapters are hiring what we are calling a ‘Social Responsibility Committee.’ A security professional will be physically checking in and auditing fraternity and sorority events to make sure they are in compliance with our expectations,” said Deyle.

The changes are the result of discussions and meetings which started almost a year ago.

“Last semester we held a Social Policy Summit which was attended by the presidents and social chairs of every fraternity,” Deyle said.

Attendees at the summit also included Lt. Mike Musci of the Cornell University Police Department, Tony Cashen from the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Committee, Tim Marchell from Gannett: Cornell University Health Services and Allen Bova from the Department of Risk Management at Cornell.

“From the very beginning we have included students, alumni [and] University officials as well as CUPD,” said Deyle. “Our goal was to create a new set of guidelines that addressed the major issues of all parties involved.”

Last weekend was the first time the new expectations were put to use.

“The goal of these expectations is not to curb or limit fraternities and sororities social events, but to instill a sense of safety and responsibility throughout the Greek system,” Deyle said. “In order to accomplish this, there is more responsibility that falls on fraternities who want to host social events.”

“As the semester goes on we expect the guidelines to go through some changes in order to make them as effective as possible,” Deyle added.

Cornell identification cards and age identification will be checked and marked at the door of all fraternity and sorority social events. “As a result, there will be a much slower inflow of guests which may result in having to be patient and wait in line,” Deyle said.

It is also expected that fraternities and sororities limit admission to events, depending on the type of event, in order to prevent an unsafe atmosphere for guests.

Brian Strahine ’01, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, worked with the IFC last semester to create the guidelines for social events.

A working draft of the event management guidelines was voted into effect on Aug. 23 at the annual Presidents’ retreat.

“Fraternities are held accountable for their actions. They want each other to do what they said they would do in the guidelines,” said Strahine.

Changes to the guidelines can be presented to the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Letter Council, and Panhellenic Association and voted on by the chapter presidents and/or delegates.

“The Greek community wants all members and guests at Greek social events to feel safe, while having a good time,” Strahine said. “With sober monitors, food and non-alcoholic beverages, detailed security plans, and other safety precautions, the Greek community has worked hard to promote safe and responsible behavior by members and guests.”

“A group of students were also selected to be trained as Event Management Educators, who will visit every chapter and give a presentation on the expectations addressed in the guidelines,” Strahine said.

“The goal of creating better chapter outreach is met because now the each member is aware of what is expected of him or her,” he added.

Courtney Silver ’06, a member of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority, said: “An IFC representative came to one of our chapter meetings this year and spoke about the new regulations for sororities hosting events at fraternity houses.”

“Some regulations we learned about include topics such as maximum occupancy and monitors for all events,” Silver said. “The presentation was definitely beneficial. I am on the executive board and we all have to discuss the best ways to have social events. The regulations are different from last year so it is important to know about the changes.”

“These guidelines will affect all members and guests that attend fraternity and sorority social events. The intent is to create a social environment that is both safe and fun,” Strahine said.

Archived article by Allison Markowitz
Sun Staff Writer