Indiana Daily Student

New program offers partying alternatives

Greek system strives to follow new alcohol plan

Loud music, dancing and beer in the hands of underage students are the essence of a college party, as many know. But this will no longer be true of fraternity parties. This year, the greek system is adopting the Responsible Alcohol Management Program in hopes of eliminating underage drinking at fraternity functions.\nLast year, the Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council both passed resolutions stating fraternities and sororities will no longer play host to parties with alcohol unless it is at a University approved third-party vendor site.\nDean of Students Richard McKaig said the administration worked closely with IFC and Panhellenic to find other alternatives for social functions. The result was the development of RAMP.\nThe greek division received a grant from the IU Student Foundation a grant to hire Bill Aggleston, a consultant who founded and organized third-party vendor sites where the greek houses can hold parties. \nAggleston is an IU alumnus and a longtime Bloomington resident. Assistant Dean of Students Jim Gibson said Aggleston's restaurant management knowledge is a key to the success of the program. Aggleston is also affiliated with the greek system and has served as a house director for the past eight years.\nThird-party vendor sites are only one element of RAMP. The program includes a manual, which outlines information on vendor information, bus services, alcohol education programs, security and crises management plans. McKaig said he is optimistic about the program.\n"I'm very hopeful it's going to work. I'm very encouraged by fraternity leaders taking initiative in their leadership," McKaig said. "This program will provide a safer and more enjoyable situations for fraternities and sororities."\nIn addition to RAMP, there will also be close supervision of chapters and more consistent enforcement of alcohol policies. All fraternities are required to register their social events with IFC. Fraternities can still have parties, but they can't have alcohol.\n"This is the most aggressive proactive work the University has done to address the problem in the past 10 years I have been here," Gibson said. "In the past we didn't have the resources to have a program like this. Not only are we aggressive, but Bill works in enforcing the policy with the support of the IUPD."\nAggleston will be out nightly between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., making stops at the fraternities who are having registered social functions and at houses that seem to be having an activity. Each night, he will also make stops at a certain percentage of fraternity houses even if they are not having a party.\nGreek Adviser Stan Sweeney said the feedback for RAMP seems positive, but the success of the program is dependent on the students. He said the goal is for the greek community to focus on the values they were founded upon.\n"We are a social organization, and there is nothing wrong with that, but we are about a lot of other things too," Sweeney said.\n Sweeney said the organization wanted to promote responsible alcohol drinking by eliminating underage drinking from fraternity parties.\n "One of the goals was to move (parties) to appropriate venues that could accommodate these functions (and) who are licensed to serve alcohol," Sweeney said.\n Twenty-five businesses have agreed to be third-party vendors and the administration is hoping more will agree in time. Sweeney said some businesses are skeptical and are waiting to see how it will work out.\nNick's English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Avenue, is listed in the RAMP manual as one of the third-party vendor sites. But General Manager Rex Barnes said he had never agreed to be one.\n"Nick's is probably not going to be a vendor," Barnes said. "I am afraid there is too much liability involved. For example, if an older fraternity brother buys beer and gives it to his younger brother, we will be responsible for the liability. I never agreed to be a third-party vendor, and I didn't realize that someone had put us down as one."\nMax Wildman, the general manager of the Gables, 114 S. Indiana Avenue, said he is supportive of this program. Gables has a reputation for hosting parties for the greek community for many years.\n"Regardless of this program, fraternities and sororities have always had parties here," Wildman said. "It takes the responsibilities off the hands of the leaders. We've always done parties for them anyway."\nStudents have a mixed reaction about the new program. Junior Matt Grassman, IFC vice president of education, said many students see the program as positive.\n"I don't think anyone will deactivate because of this program, but I can possibly see more live outs, and less number of students in the houses," Grassman said. "I'm sure the numbers will pick up in a couple years, but again maybe no one will move out, it's just my speculation."\nMen's fraternity rush is already under way, and Gibson said if the only reason students want to be in a house is so they can party, he discourages them from rushing.\n"Hopefully the trouble people won't go greek," Gibson said. "The houses are promoting themselves as a more responsible users of alcohol, and there is a serious market for students who want to be a part of that."\nAlthough the program eliminates alcohol from fraternities, senior M. Scott Witoszynski, of Delta Tau Delta, said it shifts the problem.\n"It moves the problem from one location to another," he said. "If it were that easy to eliminate the problem it would have been done a long time ago."\nMcKaig said the University is not directly involved with off-campus parties, but the Bloomington police department started a new program called the Quiet Nights Program to monitor off-campus social activities.\nRob Cheris, a sophomore in a Theta Chi, said although the new program may work, fraternity parties will no longer be popular.\n"If people are going to drink they will," said Cheris. "Fraternities provide a safe haven for people to drink by eliminating drinking and driving for the most part. College is the best four years of your life. They are hurting Indiana's reputation as being a fun school where people also excel academically"

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