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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Fraternities aim to make party policies more widely known

Tufts emergency services respond to a call for a student on Professors Row.

Despite rumors that Tufts fraternities will have to follow stricter party policies -- specifically involving alcohol distribution at parties and age regulation -- the heads of Greek organizations say that the existing policies are not changing. In fact, they said these issues are, to a large degree, already addressed in the current guidelines.

According to the Tufts University Fraternity and Sorority Life Guidelines for Social Events with Alcohol, the existing policies state that fraternities are unable to provide alcohol, but that events can be bring-your-own-booze (BYOB) or the alcohol can be provided by a third-party vendor. Additionally, all guests over age 21 must be provided with a wristband, while all guests under age 21 must have their hands marked with an ‘X’.

Vice President of ATO and President of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Evan Cover explained that these guidelines -- as well as many others outlined in the document -- exist to keep  guests safe and fraternities out of judicial trouble. He also emphasized that these policies are not new.

“These policies have been in place for quite some time,” Cover, a senior, said. “A lot of them are set by the Fraternal Information Programming Group [(FIPG)], which is an insurance agency that all fraternities are covered under. In order to throw any type of event, every fraternity has to follow these policies. Otherwise, your insurance is revoked.”

Cover did say, however, that the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) has been working to better publicize the existing policies throughout the Greek system.

“In the past four years, I have seen a very large increase in the amount of publicity we’re getting to make sure that every chapter knows these [policies] and to make sure they follow them,” he said.

According to Cover, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone has been instrumental in affecting this change.

“She’s really made it a push to make these policies really well-known,” Cover said.

In an email to the Daily, McGlone said the OFSL has been working closely with fraternities to ensure that each member of Greek life is familiar with the guidelines set out by FIPG.

“I’m sure every organization has its own method for implementing the policies,” McGlone said. “But the biggest change I’ve seen recently is an increased level of communication between chapters to hold each other accountable and to find ways to educate their members.”

McGlone also outlined the process that educates all fraternity members about the FIPG policies.

“We provide mandatory party host training for all fraternities interested in hosting parties at the beginning of every year,” she said. “This training is in partnership with [Tufts University Police Department (TUPD)], Health Services and IFC. We are in the [fourth] year of providing this training now, and it has been a great way to open lines of communication and provide the organizations with the policies and information that they need.”

According to Cover, one way fraternities ensure these policies are being followed is by maintaining close ties with TUPD.

“In my personal experience, we’ve had no negative run-ins with TUPD,” he said. “They are a good resource for us to use and they are here to protect us.”

Cover added that Greek organizations have to register and gain approval from OFSL for all events that could be seen as parties, thereby keeping everyone -- students, administrators and TUPD -- in the loop.

“TUPD retains the right to do walk-throughs of [each] party to make sure policies are being followed,” Cover said.

Meg Olsen, a junior and Executive Assistant of Tufts’s newest sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, said that fraternities are indeed ramping up efforts to publicize and enforce their party policies.

“Earlier in the semester ... the fraternities hosted an event that laid out all of the policies related to parties and why they were in place,” Olsen said. “I think that the fraternities hold a lot of responsibility [when] hosting parties, and I feel that they do a good job promoting student safety.”

However, according to Olsen, many students are unaware of the extent of these policies, despite knowing that there are rules in existence. 

“I don’t think that the non-Greek community is as aware of how much effort the fraternities put into parties to create safe environments, or of the policies that they have to follow,” Olsen said. “I think that this should be addressed by the entire Greek community so all students are more aware of the policies in place.”

 McGlone agreed that educating more people about these policies will lead to safer parties.

“Educating the general Tufts community as to what to expect if they attend a fraternity party is a big part of making [the policies] possible to implement,” she said.

Cover too reiterated that, above all, student safety is Tufts’ top priority.

“All we’re trying to do is make fraternities and sororities as safe of an environment as we possibly can,” he said. “That means ... making sure that people follow [the policies], making sure people know them. There’s been a lot more transparency, and I think it’s definitely led to some fruitful results.”