Greek IV holds different kind of happy hour

By Amanda Graf

Phil Hartwell, senior in Business and member of Theta Chi fraternity, has spent some time in the campus bars with his fraternity brothers during past Unofficial St. Patrick’s Days, but he never stayed for long.

“I was the only sober one, and everyone else was too drunk for me to handle,” Hartwell said. “For me it is sad that people get excited for the chance to drink.”

Hartwell is a member of Greek Intervarsity, an organization for Christian students in sororities and fraternities. Greek IV will focus on Unofficial at their weekly “Happy Hour” today from 4-5 p.m. at their meeting space, The Loft, 605 E. Green St.

“As a group, Greek IV never encourages underage drinking or drunkenness at all, for that matter,” said Ben Kantner, senior in Business and head of publicity for Greek IV. “Our big thing is that we are in the Greek system, and we don’t want to separate ourselves from it.”

Approximately 20 to 30 members gather to talk, study scripture and pray together each week at Happy Hour. Kantner said that this Friday, they will discuss Unofficial and pray for the safety of those on campus. The discussion will include ways to talk about drinking within the Greek system, how to care for fraternity brothers or sorority sisters who have drank too much and the responsibilities of being the “sober person” in a Greek house.

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    “We don’t want to be an organization that takes the people involved and cuts them off from the Greek system on a day like this,” Kantner said. “We don’t encourage drinking but we want (our members) to be with their brothers and sisters.”

    Kantner said the pressure to drink is always present to students in the fraternities and sororities, so Unofficial is not a totally new challenge to Greek IV members. He said the organization encourages students to make their own decisions about drinking and to be leaders within their houses.

    “I want to take part in the house and its events, and I care for the guys in my house,” Hartwell said, “I really don’t want to take part in some of the actions that they do, like going out and getting drunk on Unofficial.”

    Liz Jones, senior in AHS and Greek IV member, said Unofficial is about finding a balance between what she believes and respecting other people’s choices.

    “It’s important for me to be different on Unofficial but at the same time not to the point of there being hostility,” Jones said.

    Kantner said everyone is encouraged to come to Happy Hour, even those who may have been drinking during the day, as long as they are not disruptive.

    Students who do not feel comfortable going back to their fraternity or sorority later that evening can hang out at the Loft, he added.

    “You’re not just a part of this Christian bubble,” Jones said. “If people feel like hanging out with people in their house and being confident in who God made them, Greek and Christian, than that’s great.”