Friday, October 16, 2009

Henderson State Greeks Review Guidelines After Sig Ep Incident

Dean Enforces Greek party Policy
Josh Briggs

On Tuesday, Chad Fielding, dean of students, met with representatives from each greek organization on campus to discuss the rules and restrictions for social functions. Since the middle of summer break, Fielding said that he and other university personnel have been trying to come up with a way to get across to all greek organizations that they have certain regulations to abide by.

The announcement came on the heels of a fraternity party that sent two underage students to the hospital with apparent alcohol positing. However, Fielding insists it was coincidental.

"Thursday night's events did not cause this to happen," said Fielding. "All it did was help us know the need for it to happen."

According to a source close to Sigma Phi Epsilon, female who requested that her name be withheld and an unidentified male were taken to the hospital with apparent alcohol poisoning after being at a Sig Ep event and playing a drinking game called "shots around the world" Oct. 1.

When people elect to pledge to become a part of the greek community, they are given a regulations guide. Fielding said that for a while now, most of the fraternities with homes have had open parties at their house, which is against their Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) regulations. FIPG Inc. is the risk management team associated with every fraternity and sorority on campus.

Fielding made it clear to all organizations that they are not to have open parties anymore, and that using the big banners that advertise their parties' theme or name is prohibited. This means that fraternities such as Phi Sigma Kappa can no longer post their banner for Graffiti, an annual Phi Sig event. They also cannot post signs that have a certain cost for men and women on it.

"They think I'm being a real ass, but I'm really not because my job is to be an advocate for the students," said Fielding.

"I have to do it in a negative way a lot of times, but regardless of whether they agree with me by enforcing them to abide by the standards, I'm protecting them," said Fielding.

The greek organizations have to abide by the FIPG guidelines or there will be no more parties at all. Fielding suggested to the fact that if something like what took place at the Sig Ep house was to happen again, that the particular greek organization that was a part of it could be shut down. Fielding also said that things like this could cause someone to die if not handled correctly.

"That would be the last thing that I would want to do, but of course, it is an option," said Fielding. "All of the greek organizations were invited to come to campus because they bring a lot of good.

But a greek system that is not strong and only brings liability can be uninvited."

The FIPG guidelines cover everything pertaining to drugs and alcohol and parties involving a greek organization.

According to the risk management policy that all greek organizations have adopted on campus, the first policy pertaining to alcohol reads: The possession, sale, use or consumption of alcoholic beverages, while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event an observer would associate with the fraternity, must be in compliance with any and all applicable laws of the state, province, county, city and institution of higher education, and must comply with either the BYOB or Third Party Vendor Guidelines.

No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through or with chapter funds nor may
the purchase of same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter. The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example, kegs or cases, is prohibited.

There are also rules that have to be followed in order to host a closed party.

According to Fielding, the hosting group must have a guest list and a check-off list. One member has to be at the door checking IDs, while another conducts security by watching for fights and prohibited activity.

Wristbands or other means of identification should be used to identify whether or not the person is 21 or older.

At most of the greek parties on campus, a marker is used to put 21 on the hands of people of age to drink or an X to signify that he or she is under 21. The other members are not to be drinking while at the event. Their job is to walk around and keep an eye out for any underage drinking, and if they find someone, they are to "make them leave."

"I feel that they are ready to rebuild what they are supposed to be," said Fielding.

"It is going to change, and you can either get behind that change and help improve it, or you can fight it, and it is going to be a losing battle."

All of the FIPG policies can be found on the Internet at www.FIPG.org. For any more information or questions, contact Fielding by phone at 230-5420 or at his office in the Garrison in room 112 by the information desk.