January 23, 2011

Interfraternity Council Calls Rush Week’s Dry Night a Success

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The first rush week since the Board of Trustees approved a broad overhaul of Cornell’s Greek system was successful, according to the Interfraternity Council. However, not all of Cornell’s 39 fraternities obeyed the new rules, which prohibited events involving alcohol on Tuesday night.

The overhaul of the Greek system must be fully implemented within the next two years, and the IFC has begun phasing out alcohol by designating the first official night of rush as a universally “dry” night and by hiring a Social Responsibility Committee to patrol parties.

IFC President Allen Miller ’11 called the dry night a success and said that events were generally “safe and well-run.” No fraternities incurred punishments on the dry night of rush, according to Dan Freshman ‘12, the incoming IFC president and current IFC vice-president for communications.

Still, some fraternities held events in Collegetown involving alcohol, though the extent of the violations was unclear as of Sunday night.

Freshman acknowledged rumors that at least several fraternities may have violated IFC rules by holding parties with alcohol in Collegetown on the mandated dry night.

“Is there a possibility that fraternities did have wet events in Collegetown? Sure. I’m not going to be naive about this,” he said, noting that though the SRC patrolled registered fraternity events in Collegetown, it was not possible to “knock on every door.”

While no fraternities were found in violation of IFC rules during the dry night, one fraternity was penalized on a subsequent night when SRC members patrolling the house found cups smelling of hard alcohol, which was prohibited throughout the week. The fraternity was barred from participating in one day of rush, according to Dan Freshman ’12. Freshman declined to identify which fraternity was found in violation.

Despite the incident, IFC officials said the week had gone well. “Rush week this year has been largely successful,” Miller said. “Although I don’t have the final count on how many students registered for the week, the numbers each day have been consistently higher than in years past.”

Miller applauded the services of the SRC, the group of hired security personnel in distinctive red jackets who patrolled the parties.

The IFC timetable requires more dry nights next year and an entirely alcohol-free rush the following year.

“From what I understand, all went pretty well,” Associate Dean of Students Travis Apgar said of rush week, noting that fraternities were “in large part if not completely in compliance” with IFC rules.

Both Freshman and Apgar expressed optimism that fraternities will remain popular despite the phasing-out of alcohol from member recruitment.

For some potential fraternity members, the dry periods of rush provided a welcome change of pace from the rest of of the week. According to one freshman rushee who asked that his name not be used, “One night of not drinking [during] a week of constant drinking is kind of nice, actually.”

Original Author: Eliza LaJoie