Purdue moratorium bans alcoholic events for those Greek

Over 90 presidents of fraternities, sororities and cooperative houses at Purdue University passed an alcohol moratorium which banned the consumption of alcohol in their facilities and at any organization-sponsored events.

The presidents agreed to the indefinite moratorium Sept. 22.

However, Purdue’s Interfraternity Council President Nick Kitchell said he does not see it as an alcohol ban.

“The idea behind it is to go a week without any alcohol events and try to find and explore solutions to the problem. It’s really just a time to reflect,” Kitchell said.

After dialogues with the administration, alumni and university police in West Lafayette, the presidents of the chapters decided to gather and vote upon the moratorium.

“It’s an indefinite ban, but this week we will vote on it again. The goal is to have a short term plan and a long term plan and find ways to be safe and have fun at Greek functions. We just want a safer social culture,” Kitchell said.

Greek events, such as exchanges and barn dances, are still going on as scheduled with an emphasis on no underage drinking and no hard alcohol, Kitchell said.

Purdue’s administration, West Lafayette police and Kitchell agree that hard alcohol is one of greatest factors leading to alcohol problems.

“At the beginning of the year there were more and more issues of not understanding responsibilities, specifically with hard alcohol often being the problem,” Kitchell said. “The chief of police e-mailed me saying he was grateful. He pointed out that two weekends ago, with no ban, there were 18 emergency phone calls regarding alcohol. This last weekend there were zero, which is practically unheard of.”

In Champaign-Urbana, the policy that banned alcohol at the University’s Big Ten competitor has not been considered.

However, some officials involved with Greek life said there are alternative measures that have been tried on campus.

“We have been very fortunate that any events that would lead to a discussion about a similar moratorium have not happened on this campus,” said Ryan Giertz, vice president of Risk Management at the Interfraternity Council and sophomore in ACES.

Giertz brought up how the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council both try to take a proactive approach with chapters and members to promote awareness and prevent any incidents related to alcohol.

Melissa Edmonds, Panhellenic Council vice president of public relations and junior in LAS, said she agrees that the University takes a different approach.

“Although Purdue’s moratorium raises awareness of alcohol abuse, I do believe that a more effective route is risk management and being proactive,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds also add that they “offer speakers, meetings, seminars and Kolusis, a self-governing body that monitors Greek events, as well as many other things. We are doing everything to ensure all chapters are following rules and guidelines.”

However, Giertz said he thinks Purdue may be on to something.

“I know Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and probably members of (the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils) will be in contact with Purdue in the coming weeks to see the results of this action,” Giertz said. “We are always looking for ways to improve what we do here at the University of Illinois, and hopefully not just Purdue, but fraternity and sorority systems across the country can learn from their situation.”