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Students Must Take Responsibility For Alcohol, Party Issues

Students Must Take Responsibility For Alcohol, Party Issues

The Interfraternity Council is currently addressing concerns about the use of alcohol and about the "large" parties at fraternity houses. The discussions are being directed not only at Residence and Orientation Week, but also on a year-round level. Because we are a self-governed body of adult individuals we should be able to find a responsible means to deal with the use of alcohol and the organization of our parties.

Many of the Fraternity, Sorority, and Independent Living Group social events do have a basis, at least partially, on alcohol. Many of the MIT social events have a basis on, or include, alcohol. This is an issue that is being addressed not only on our campus, but nation-wide as well. The reality is that many college students do drink, whether it is at a party or while kicking back and watching the Super Bowl. Is this a bad thing? No, we have the opportunity to finally grow up and act responsible, whether it comes to managing our own houses or drinking alcohol. The presence of alcohol on our campus will not change, we just need to deal with situations involving alcohol's use.

Two specific ideas, not policies, have been brought up to the Interfraternity Council. The idea of removing alcohol from all FSILG rush events and the extension of rush to an as-of-yet undefined day have been discussed only between the IFC executive council and a few MIT administration and alumni. Also, the idea of a system of house counselors at the FSILGs has been discussed at the most recent IFC presidents' council meeting. The house counselors would be a group consisting of one member from each house that other members from that house could talk to about any problems, whether alcohol related or otherwise, and would also be a Medlink representative. This idea stems from the simple concept of being your brother's keeper. These are not the only solutions, but they are the only ones that have been discussed so far.

The issue of large parties deals with the complaints from neighbors and the difficulties in our community. We are looking to reduce the chance of fraternities facing licensing board charges and any other adverse results of community complaints. Specifically targeted are the large-scale rush events and the parties held during "dead week." These times tend to have the most complaints and difficult situations. As a present solution to at least some of the year-round problems of parties, IFC has started a regular joint meeting of the FSILG social chairs. We are addressing the policies and the organization of the FSILG parties, including issues from front-door management to handling overly intoxicated or problematic people at parties.

In short, the unavoidable fact is that many college students are going to party, and many of those people are going to drink alcohol. The key is that we act responsibly and address in an appropriate manner any situations that arise from partying or drinking. Whether it is at a fraternity or at a dormitory, whether it is at our school or at a bar, or whether it is at a party or just hanging out with the guys, the presence of alcohol should not be a problem, assuming that we manage the situation correctly. In these situations, we - not anyone else - are responsible for the outcome.

Jason Pride

IFC President