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Frats Consider Dry R/O Week

By David D. Hsu
News Editor

Concern over alcohol and Residence and Orientation Week has prompted proposals which would place further restrictions on alcohol during rush.

These proposals could further alter rush week. Rush week underwent a major change in November, when the Dormitory Council withdrew its participation from the Clearinghouse system used to track freshmen.

Eliminating the entire presence of alcohol during rush or extending the period when alcohol cannot be served to pledges are two proposals the Interfraternity Council is currently reviewing.

Current rush rules prohibit alcohol from being served in any rush event until after 12:00 p.m. on the Saturday after rush begins. At no time may any freshman be served alcohol from the beginning of rush until the desk is closed.

These proposals do not affect sororities. "Sororities have no alcohol. Period," said Adviser to Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups Neal H. Dorow.

The intent of eliminating alcohol would be to ensure that the presence of alcohol does not affect a freshman's housing decision, said IFC President Jason D. Pride '97.

"As far as dry rush goes, there has been more talk about that recently because of some situations that occurred," Dorrow said. "Almost every other Greek community in the United States does have a completely dry rush.

"The other point is that national fraternities prohibit chapters from using alcohol, yet some fraternities do have activities where alcohol is present" even though freshman are not drinking, Dorow said.

Past incidents prompt concern

Recent incidents with fraternities have initiated concern about alcohol. In September, a car hit a Boston University student outside a Kappa Sigma party where alcohol was present ["Car Hits BU Student Outside Frat Party," Sept. 15, 1995].

There also have been some community complaints about noise during rush ["Alcohol Banned from Delts' House; Licensing Board Acts on Complaints," Nov. 17, 1995], Dorow said. It "has created some friction with the Back Bay."

The second proposal seeks to prohibit alcohol past the current noon deadline on Saturday. This policy would serve to prevent FSILGs from closing their desks and start partying, which could be an incentive for freshman to join their living group, Pride said. In addition, the policy may also benefit neighbors of fraternity houses.

The proposals are "just suggestions," Dorow said. "I think we're going to work very closely with IFC on these."

In order to become rush policy, the proposals must pass through the rush chairs from the FSILGs, Pride said.

"I tend not to make a stand against the FSILGs," Pride said. "I would rather promote ideas such as improvement of brotherhood rather than shoving policies down their neck.

"Even though [a completely dry rush] is a really beautiful idea, it would seem to me an idealistic goal to have the fraternities not based on alcohol," Pride said. "It's a reality that's not going to be attained."

The policy may be unnecessary, Pride said. Brothers are usually too busy with rush to drink. The policy would then only apply to alumni and visitors who would be over 21.

Prohibiting alcohol past the current deadline would be a destruction of back-to-school celebrations, Pride said. "It leaves a big period of time where nothing happens after pledges join."

The elimination of parties during "dead week," the second week of rush, is too drastic an action, Pride said.

Dormcon firm on Clearinghouse'

The Dormcon decided to end Clearinghouse because it no longer serves the interests of dormitory residents and incoming students, according to the Dormcon press release.

Dormcon has devoted the month of February to discussing rush issues with both IFC and Residence and Campus Activities, said Dormcon President Dhaya Lakshminarayanan '96.

The aim of the discussions is to hear different opinions about rush. However, "we're pretty firm on Clearinghouse," Lakshminarayanan said. "We've done a lot of research on Clearinghouse. We've made a rational proposal."

"If they want something different, there must be a huge incentive for us to do it," Lakshminarayanan said. Students have a huge responsibility during rush. Proposals must pass through the dormitory presidents.

"We're still willing to listen," Lakshminarayanan said.

Fraternities use Clearinghouse because they need to locate a freshman in a short amount of time during a short rush period, Pride said. "The fact that the dorms ran Clearinghouse ineffectively [means its loss] doesn't affect fraternities in a large way."

However, "it seems that dorms are being put in a position against the fraternities," Pride said. "If that's taken further, it could be problematic.

"Their loss from Clearinghouse is more an MIT administration issue than an IFC issue," Pride said.

"I think we all have the responsibility to make residence selection work," said Associate RCA Dean Margaret A. Jablonski. "Ultimately, RCA is responsible for the housing of first year students."