Saturday, April 07, 2007

CSU Greeks Keep Houses Dry

Colorado State U. greeks avoid alcohol discussion
By J. David McSwane
Wary of the continued controversy and bad publicity that looms over Colorado State University greek life, fraternities and sororities dodged a discussion Monday that targeted allowing booze in some greek houses.

The Inter-fraternity Council, the governing body for greeks, killed a "wet campus Q-and-A" Monday. And they say the booze debate is dead, at least for now.

"I think this was at the very end of it," said Jarred Quintana, IFC president. "The administration is trying to instill some values ... they're trying to encourage responsible use."

Alcohol has been a much-debated topic at CSU since the alcohol-poisoning death of sophomore Samantha Spady in the now-defunct Sigma Pi fraternity house.

Avoiding the debate, Quintana said, was the result of feedback from the greek community and a closed-door meeting of greek presidents, not a vote by the IFC representatives.

"The Greek community just came together and said, 'This isn't where we want to be,'" Quintana said. "We definitely had a great conversation about it -- being a dry campus is beneficial to us."

But the discussion spawned from some fraternity representatives who said last month that discussing greek house alcohol policies is important.
"We just wanted to get a discussion going," said Eric Rettinger, IFC representative and member of Delta Tau Delta. "I'm not the only one."

But over the course of a week, Rettinger -- the lead proponent of the discussion -- said allowing booze back in houses wasn't a good idea for now."We decided it was a bad idea and wouldn't work for our system," he said. "I don't want to be portrayed as someone who is de-valuing the Greek system. There's no story. It wasn't even brought up in the IFC [Monday]."

Sonja Jensen, coordinator of the CSU Greek Life office, said the conversation will continue, but the policy will not change."Whenever there's a formalized discussion, they come to the same conclusion: it's not worth bringing alcohol back into our houses," Jensen said. "They recognize that it's still important for them to maintain dry housing."

The proposed booze discussion was sidestepped the very same day Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity that was shut down last year for alcohol violations, tried without success to be recognized by CSU.

"Considering the past, I would say 'no' (to alcohol in greek houses)," said Todd Bloch, a junior construction management major. "We made national news, which set a precedent that it's not a good idea."

But there's plenty of disagreement among students."If everyone in that house is of age, there shouldn't be anything that forbids them from doing it," said Michael DeAngelo, a junior physics major.

Still, the issue of alcohol in fraternities and sororities haunts CSU. The solution for now: prohibition in greek houses."I feel like as of right now, I don't know what to expect in the future," said Dan Parberry, the IFC representative for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.