North Texas Daily

Greek Life prohibition

Greek Life prohibition

February 06
23:42 2013

Ben Peyton

Senior Staff Writer

Alcohol has been banned from all Greek life events while the Dean of Students Maureen McGuiness, investigates student conduct violations before acting accordingly.

The ban follows the recent incident at the UNT Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house where a student fell over a stairway railing on Jan. 26 at 4:30 a.m.

The UNT Police Department conducted an 11-day investigation and found that minors were allegedly furnished alcohol on Jan. 25 and 26., and obtained warrants to arrest seven individuals.

McGuiness is accepting applications to be a member of the Task Force, which will be made up of Greek Life students, faculty and campus advisors for Greek organizations. The organization will promote responsible use of alcohol.

“At UNT, when we are made aware of issues involving our student body, we take action,” said Elizabeth With, vice president of Student Affairs in a press release. “With the creation of this task force, we will be taking more aggressive steps to educate our students about the risks of underage drinking. And we are starting with our Greek community.”

The ban will be enforced in all Greek Life events on and off campus.

Morgan Ray, Zeta Tau Alpha and applied behavior analysis senior, believes that the ban is not just because of the incident at the Delta Sigma Phi house, but also because of a number of incidents in the Greek Life community in the past couple of years.

“This incident could have happened to any one of us in the Greek community,” Ray said.  “It was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

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  1. A more proactive approach
    A more proactive approach February 07, 00:50

    While I recognize that the blanket ban the University has chosen to implement is reactionary to recent incidents which include more than just the more recent incident which occurred at Delta Sigma Phi, I believe they have opted for a strategy that is both easy and incorrect. The consumption of alcohol by minors and the abuse of it by those who are of age is not something unique to Greek organizations. Indeed alcohol abuse incidents can be found all across campus organizations. While outwardly this prohibition appears to be a public relations success, it should be considered an administrative error. The failure of national prohibition (Volstead act of 1919) should serve as an example to all administrators that the problem cannot be solved by means of restriction. If anything restriction leads to a greater risk of hazard due to a lack of education and the inevitable increase in alcohol violations.
    To this end I would like to issue a challenge to administrators to take two separate but equally important educational efforts. First I would like the University to recognize the inevitability of alcohol abuse regardless of prohibition efforts. To that regard I would like to see them develop a system of education designed to recognize the early signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning, how to manage the risks, and that it is ALWAYS appropriate to call 911 (to this end I think it is important to recognize that the UNT Greek Life willing called emergency services and prevented a national scene).
    It is on the note of emergency services that I would like to issue a second challenge to university administration. In this sense what I am trying to describe is encouraging the use of emergency services without immensely blanket repercussions. I feel like these blanket policies actually take away from the message the university should be sending. Instead what I would prescribe as a productive alternative to blanket bans would be risk assessment and mediation meetings. In this way the situation is studied, discussed, and a new effective risk management policy can be developed (and published) that would encourage responsible consumption of alcohol in a social environment.
    While a slew of problems have occurred within Greek Life as a result of alcohol, I think the University need to recognize the immensity of the problem at hand. As I stated earlier, these problems are not unique to Greek Life. Instead these incidents should be viewed as risks which affect Universities and young people as a whole.
    To that end I would make one final appeal to the progressive nature of the University of North Texas. The University has been immensely progressive in new areas of study such as International Relations and EADP departments. Why then can’t the University be on the forefront of encouraging alcohol responsibility? Perhaps there is a fear of liability but I have only one response. An outright ban does not save the University ANY degree of liability because the problem will persist as opposed to being confronted. Encouraging alcohol responsibility, whether it be through University Risk Management committee meetings or stream lining registering events in such a way that organizations will want to register them, will mitigate the overarching reality of alcohol abuse.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Former donor
    Former donor February 07, 12:47

    So drinking during recruitment….? Where’s the staff and greek advisor???

    How come they haven’t come under fire for any of this!?! The university is just as responsilble for this type of behavior as the students. They (UNT) have all of these rules, regulations, committees, task forces, etc. and this stuff STILL HAPPENS!

    Beliefs drive actions, and actions reflect leadership…zero leadership in that fraternity and ZERO leadership from UNT and the greek department.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Andy
    Andy February 07, 13:24

    Ah, the good ol’ days, when North Texas had most of its frat houses off-campus.

    Then came Fraternity Row when UNT couldn’t stand the fact that “normal” universities had on-campus reservations for these wild savages.

    Then UNT could control them, such as the case with Kappa Alpha in ’01:

    Reply to this comment

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