Greek houses restrict social events for Unofficial celebrations

By Karen Liu, Staff Writer

All Greek houses on campus will remain quiet on one of the loudest party days of the year due to a self-imposed activity restriction put in place by the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council.

“As the Panhellenic council, we try to be as proactive as we can in order to make sure all students on campus are safe.” said Delaney Laurence, the Panhellenic Council vice president of risk management.

According to Ben Samborn, the IFC vice president of risk management, the restriction on social events means that there will be no exchanges or house parties.

The president and vice president of Panhellenic Council are required to be available all day on Unofficial. They cannot partake in any related events. The same goes for sorority chapter presidents.

“We do require that all sorority presidents also remain sober for the entire day, in case they are needed at all within their chapters.” said Laurence.

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    According to Laurence, Panhellenic Council is also encouraging each chapter to have at least two people available for contact at all times in case of an emergency. Chapters can arrange the availability of the members in charge of contact at different point of the day.

    Laurence also held a risk management meeting recently with the sorority presidents. Police officers from Urbana and Champaign attended the meeting to talk about being safe and to promote the safety of sororities on campus.

    The IFC has similar protocols in place over Unofficial weekend.

    “A lot of times, police have been involved breaking up parties at chapter houses,” Samborn said. “This is something we’re trying to prevent and obviously beyond this day as well.”

    Samborn said all nine of the executive board members will go around house to house doing checks to ensure the safety students.

    “Given the events history in the past, I think it kind of led to the policy we have now in place to keep everyone safe and not make the day, I guess, what it has been.”

    However, Kenneth Ballom, the dean of students and associate vice chancellor of student affairs, said that such restriction is not a recent development and is not precipitated by any actions at all.

    “The restriction has been in place for as far as I can tell,” Ballom said. “I’ve been here for nine years and the restriction has been in place most of the years.”

    Most chapters are discouraging overnight guests during the event, Ballom said.

    The University is also trying to ensure that the chapter houses on campus keep in touch with the staff, so the school would be is there are activities taking place where members of the Greek community might be involved.

    “Our primary goal is to make sure students remain safe, during this activity. This is an activity that is in no way supported or facilitated by the University of Illinois or the Greek System.” said Ballom. “We consider the greek system as partners and try to eradicate any potential harm to students that day.”

    Although the University has no inspection specifically for the Greek system for Unofficial day, it fully supports the restrictions implemented by the IFC and Panhellenic Council.

    “Our Greek system has been partners in helping keep our students safe here and keeping our community safe, and we very much appreciate that.” said Ballom.

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