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Akmost 400 pledge during dry rush

By Craig Jungwirth

and Simson L. Garfinkel

Three hundred eighty students pledged fraternities and independent living groups in a rush governed by the new Office of the Dean for Student Affairs alcohol policy.

The Policy Statement on the Use of Alcohol places restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in common areas and at certain times during the rush weekend. It additionally prohibits drinking by students under the age of 21.

The InterFraternity Conference (IFC) reported three alcohol-related violations.

As of Tuesday, three hundred eighty freshmen, transfer and upperclass students had pledged fraternities and independent living groups, according to Associate Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood.

"The fraternity system seems to have a lot more stability than" the dormitory system, he said.

IFC Chairman Tinley Anderson '86 said the fraternity system realized "379 definite pledges" and "on the whole, met the goal." But he estimated "three or four" fraternities did not meet their pledge projections.

Sherwood said "seven houses ... did overcrowd, 14 met [their] target and 12 still had at least one space open ... Some spaces viewed as open are still crowds. Goals were set with trying to accept an extra" pledge.

"The fraternities took almost the exact projection we had expected them to. In some cases, they weren't physically able" to crowd additional students into their houses, Sherwood said. "We feel very positive that [the fraternity system] definitely put forth a good-faith effort."

Three violations reported

Anderson reported three rush violations of the Institute's new dry rush policy. "There were a couple of minor problems ... stemming from a misunderstanding of the rules," Anderson said. "With one exception, I can only think of two incidents ... which were very minor.

"The largest complaint stemmed from the fact that a freshman was seen [by members of a fraternity] at another house drinking a beer," Anderson said. That action violated the Policy Statement on the Use of Alcohol.

He said that the infraction was "solved through mediation and [the IFC Judicial Committee] representatives watched the house" throughout Residence/Orientation (R/O) week. The house "regained the epitome of dry rush from there on out," Anderson said.

In another incident, "one ... brother was drinking a beer Friday night in a common area" of a fraternity house. Anderson characterized the incident as "not a flagrant violation."

Anderson said he could not recall the third incident. He declined to identify any of the houses involved in the reported violations.

IFC Judicial Committee "representatives were assigned three or four houses which they were to visit periodically" during rush weekend, Anderson said. "We depended on other houses to help monitor and that worked out very well."

The Dormitory Council "sent out representatives to fraternity houses to, what I suppose would be, monitor the situations. However, the IFC didn't reciprocate," Anderson said. "We did not send anyone to the dorms."

"We had a good, clean rush," he concluded.

Freshmen relate experiences

Several freshmen, who requested that their names and the fraternities' names be withheld, described differing rush experiences concerning alcohol use.

Some observed consumption of alcohol which violated the dry rush policy.

One freshman said he saw a keg of beer in a side room off a common area in a fraternity. The fraternity brothers said, " `Go in this room because you can't drink in the common area.' There were about 10 or 15 freshmen in the room," the freshman said.

Fraternity brothers served an "abortion" in addition to beer, the freshman continued. "It's orange sade, 7-Up and vodka. I was at [the party] late, so maybe that's why they were doing it."

But a second freshman said, "I haven't seen fraternities with alcohol. A lot have been really conscious. `This time it's dry,' said the brothers. They knew the rules and were following them."

"I was a freshman with beer. I knew they were serving" other freshmen, said a third student.

A fourth freshman had "only been to two" fraternities. "There's alcohol there," he said, "but there's also pot. But they don't ask you if you want it or not. If a freshman wanted it, they would give it."

Other fraternities had alcohol for brothers but did not serve freshmen, according to a fifth freshman. "It was strictly banned. I saw a graduate or alumnus having a beer. It wasn't overt."

"There wasn't a lot [of alcohol]. No freshmen were served," he said. "They all had Sprites or Cokes. I wasn't offered [any alcohol] or pressured. Personally, I'm surprised."

A sixth freshman said he saw alcohol in fraternities on both sides of the river, but not in public places. He added that there was a non-alcoholic bar on a fraternity-sponsored boat cruise.

"Most frats figured `You're going to have the next four years to drink, so you can hold off for a week.' " One fraternity in Boston "was really good. There was lots of soda. The brothers didn't have alcohol," he said. At another fraternity, "Brothers had alcohol, but no freshmen" had alcohol.

Anderson said he hadn't "been around asking people. But no reports [of violations of the dry rush policy] have come to my attention."

"Of course, the first thing would be ... review [of a complaint] by the [IFC] Judicial Committee," Anderson said. "The Judicial Committee would come to a decision if it was a violation or wasn't a violation ... an oversight or a blatant violation, and from there on out they would handle it."

"However, it would be very difficult, being that rush is a week and a half over with," Anderson explained. "If it were brought to my attention, it would be difficult at this point to prove anything, right or wrong."

Administration comments

Sherwood said he was "amazed at the lack of complaints or incidents or violations of dry rush" policies. "Dry rush did not seem to have detrimental impact on R/O week."

"Alcohol is everywhere in the environment," said Mark E. Ertel, advisor to fraternities and independent living groups in the Dean's Office. "Around here, alcohol is available."

"I could not have been happier," he said. "The feedback I have gotten ... has been very, very positive."