North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) made the executive decision to ban all hard liquor from NIC fraternities on over 800 college campuses, including the University of Connecticut.
The new policy, which was approved on Aug. 27, 2018, is scheduled to take effect as of Sept. 1, 2019. According to the NIC, any beverage that contains an alcohol content of 15 percent or greater is considered hard liquor and will not be permitted in the fraternity houses.
According to the University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, the next step in implementing the policy is for the NIC to release plans of enforcement.
“At this time, we do not know if the NIC will release a plan for enforcement; if this will become the responsibility of each member organization; or if they plan to rely on campus partners to monitor and enforce. In either case, more information is needed,” Reitz said.
In a recent interview, NIC President and CEO Judson Horras said the discussion was made for student safety and upholding the standards of Greek organizations.
“At their core, fraternities are about brotherhood, personal development and providing a community of support. Alcohol abuse and its serious consequences endanger this very purpose,” Horras said.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, because the majority of students living in fraternity houses are under the legal drinking age, liquor will not be allowed in common living spaces. It will also be forbidden from private rooms. This will apply to all residents whether or not they meet the drinking age.
Members of the NIC are also concerned with the growing traditions of hazing in the fraternities. Currently, they are “testing measures to reduce hazing in the new member experience and advocating for stronger anti-hazing laws,” Heather Kirk, the NIC chief communication officer said.
While the NIC’s new efforts to promote safety in the fraternities will be officially implemented at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, some fraternities at UConn have taken precautionary measures by not allowing alcohol in the fraternities well before NIC’s policy was created.
In a recent interview, Seth Gutwein, the President of the IFC fraternities at Purdue University speaks to the increase in safety this new policy will allow.
“With all NIC fraternities implementing this critical change, it will provide strong support for fraternities to move as one to make campus communities safer,” Gutwein Said.
William Raccio is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.