Senior Kyle Miller said he chose not to join a fraternity because he didn’t want to conform to a certain lifestyle.
But new tailgate rules made by the Interfraternity Council are being imposed on him and other non-greek students anyway, he said.
The Interfraternity Council has recently made some changes to reform the image of IU tailgates, including placing a ban on half-gallon containers of alcohol and opening the Red Lot closer to game time.
Fraternity and sorority members are expected to comply, which is typical of IFC and Panhellenic Association policy. In the case of tailgates, ESG Security and IU Police Department will intervene when the new rules are violated.
“If I were in a fraternity house, I would absolutely follow their rules, but they don’t own that lot,” he said. “Where does the IFC get the right to govern me?”
The IFC does not have a right to govern the student body, but they can help make policy, IUPD Chief Keith Cash said.
“Ninety-nine percent, actually 100 percent, of that lot is greek houses,” he said. “That’s not to say other people don’t wander in, but the people who use that lot are in greek houses. They’re not setting the rules, but they are the stakeholders.”
Cash compared the IFC rules to alcohol policies in IU dorms.
“IU is not an entirely dry campus, but alcohol is rarely, if ever, allowed in undergraduate housing,” he said. “But let’s say some 30 year old shows up with alcohol in the dorm. He’s not violating liquor law, but he’s violating IU policy.”
He said IUPD would likely inform violators of the IFC rules and ask them to leave. If they are still uncooperative, violators can then be charged with trespassing.
“We have the right to set rules on University property, and those rules are established,” Cash said. “If someone says, ‘No, I’m not going to abide by that rule,” they will first be asked to leave. If the person stays there, they will be removed.”
William Kragie, vice president of communications for IFC, said IFC’s role and rules are being misinterpreted by non-greek students questioning the council’s ability to enforce rules.
“IFC is working in conjunction with Student Life and Learning, IU Athletics, Pan-Hellenic Council, IUPD and ESG Security to improve the tailgate and game time experience for students,” he said. “IFC is a resource to the greek and campus-wide communities, not a police force.”
Cash said the University has long been focused on reforming behavior in the Red Lot. In years past, IUPD cleared out the lot when partying got out of hand.
Non-greek student organizations are allowed to reserve space in the Red Lot, Dean of Students Harold “Pete” Goldsmith said. However, Cash said IFC, as the main stakeholders in the lot, was the best organization to work with to put a new policy in place.
The initiative stemmed from a suggestion from Goldsmith. Goldsmith said the tailgate environment wasn’t positive before the ban, and he’s pleased with the IFC’s efforts.
“We’re always concerned about safety and overall atmosphere,” Goldsmith said. “We’re deeply involved with making changes with those types of things, and they’re great changes.”
Although those changes may have helped the Red Lot look a little cleaner Sept. 17, the Indiana State Excise police still found plenty of students breaking the law. A record 110 people were arrested on 129 charges before the IU-Ball State football game.
As part of the rebranding, the IFC is also teaming up with the IU Office of Sustainability to further clean up the tailgate by introducing recycling receptacles to the field — an initiative Miller said he can support.
“I prefer beer anyway, and it’s great I can recycle the cans now, but it just feels like the IFC is extending their reach past their boundaries,” Miller said.