April 9, 2009

Interfraternity Council Tightens Party Regulations

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As part of an ongoing effort to increase the safety of open fraternity parties, the Interfraternity Council passed two resolutions at the beginning of the semester that further regulate how fraternities operate their social events. As a result of this legislation, all fraternities can only hire security companies that are licensed and bonded by the State of New York. Furthermore, fraternities must clearly mark the party’s sober monitors.
Although the IFC’s Event Management Guide has mandated that Cornell-owned fraternities exclusively hire state-licensed security personnel for several years now, the new resolution expands the scope of the requirement to include privately owned fraternities as well, according to Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for the office of fraternity and sorority affairs.
“Even though [the regulation] has been around for a couple of years now,” Apgar stated, “the new resolution reiterates the need to follow it.”
Fraternities have had problems in the past with security guards that were not state licensed. Students have reported instances in which certain security companies, including one known as “Bad Boys,” were overly aggressive towards them, to the point where the police was called to intervene.
Eddie Rooker, president of the IFC, explained the difference between state and non-state licensed companies.
“Being licensed and bonded means that the security company is being held to higher standards [than] a non-licensed and bonded security company,” he stated in an e-mail, “In order to be a bonded security officer you must be fingerprinted and pass a background check.”
The IFC believes that the new requirement to label the event’s sober monitors will also enhance the safety of individuals at fraternity parties. With these regulations, the police, the Social Responsibility Committee and other emergency personnel will have an easier time identifying those in charge and be able to provide faster assistance to those in need.
Yet despite the potential benefits of the new regulations, some chapter presidents remain weary about the increase in costs that the new resolutions have forced upon them.
“The objections were due to the cost that chapters would incur to purchase sober monitor t-shirts as well to hire security guards that are licensed and bonded,” Rooker stated.