Gannon University officials hope that Greek social events will become safer with the recent approval of an updated policy.
The new document, which was rolled out to the Greek community Friday afternoon, is the result of months of review by campus administrators.
According to Anthony DiPasqua, assistant director of Greek Life and Campus Engagement, his office began reviewing the social event policy at the beginning of last summer to ensure that it was still meeting the goals and expectations of the Gannon community.
“We have been looking at everything critically and asking the question of ‘why?’,” he said.
The updated policy went to senior administration for review and approval at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year and has been successfully implemented by all fraternities and sororities as of last weekend.
DiPasqua said that Gannon is unique in the fact that it allows fraternities to register social events. He noted with this comes a set of expectations.
“The social event policy was developed in hopes to provide a responsible social environment for students as they have social engagements,” he said.
Gannon’s social event policy has adopted recommendations from the risk management guidelines of the Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) Inc., a national risk management association for men’s and women’s fraternities and sororities.
In addition, Greek organizations are governed by the constitutions of both Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council, international or national headquarter policies specific to each Greek organization, and Gannon student conduct policies.
Presidents and risk managers of the 12 social sororities and fraternities on campus were required to go to an informational meeting last week regarding the rollout of the new policy.
This helped fulfill one of DiPasqua’s goals of intentionally training members of the Greek community on how to follow the new changes.
Bailey Byrd, president of Alpha Sigma Tau social sorority and a sweetheart of Delta Sigma Phi social fraternity, said she understands why the social policy was updated. However, she has a number of concerns for its implementation.
“I think the social policies make a lot of sense and should be enforced,” said Byrd, a junior mortuary science major. “But it puts much more pressure on the [fraternity’s] risk team working, and it opens up a lot more room for liabilities.”
One main goal of the social event policy is to build trust between students, administration and Campus Police and Safety.
Whereas members of Gannon’s IFC and Panhellenic Council used to be responsible for walking through social events to ensure safety, that duty has now been passed to Di Pasqua and campus Police and Safety.
DiPasqua will be walking through registered social events at least twice per semester unannounced to ensure policies are being properly followed.
“The changes are designed to show the chapters you can trust the administration and we support social events responsibly and within the confines of the policy and the law,” he said.
“We want to get to that place where there is trust and chapters feel empowered to be running a solid risk management plan.”
At social gatherings, students will still be required to use their Gannon ID card to swipe upon entering. DiPasqua noted the use of card readers was a request of the fraternities.
Students over the age of 21 will be given a wristband if they present their state ID to sober brothers working risk management upon entering the fraternity house.
DiPasqua noted Gannon Greek Life has just purchased 5,000 wristbands in order to take financial burden off individual chapters.
Each fraternity will be required to run a “bar” area where students must check in all alcoholic beverages.
Those of legal drinking age are permitted to bring only one six pack of beer. No hard liquor is permitted.
The policy outlines a series of potential outcomes, which can result in sanctions if violations are discovered to have occurred.
These include a $200 fine for a communal drinking source, $15 per member for hosting an unregistered or unapproved event, $50 for a noise ordinance violation and $50 for a fire code violation.
These fines must be paid before the chapter is permitted to register another social event.
If anyone attending a social event notices rules are not being properly followed, they are encouraged to report the incident at http://bit.do/SocialEventViolation.
Questions or concerns regarding the new policy can be voiced to firstname.lastname@example.org.