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Back in the early months of 2015, I covered an interesting story about the battle between University Of Tennessee administrators and the Greek system. The gist of the story was this: A loophole in an existing rule allowed UTPD to pin the blame on a chapter for drinking incidents off campus at, say, an apartment or a house. It was some serious abuse of power.
Thanks to a few anonymous tipsters, we now know that campus administrators are planning on expanding on that power. The administrators are looking to effectively end all off-campus parties held by Greek organizations, even something as little as a get-together between a few members. The new policies do not specifically say that off-campus parties are now banned. Instead, administrators are making them economically impossible to hold.
Under the compliance section of the new Sorority and Fraternity Event Notification Form, the first rule states that “alcohol must be provided by a third party vendor.” That means that instead of buying kegs, cases, bottles of liquor, mixers, etc., Greek organizations will now have to bring in an alcohol distributor who will sell alcohol at the event. Third party vendors are not cheap. I know this from firsthand experience being a social chair.
In the “suggested practices” section, there is a checklist of items that are required for every event when you register your party. These items include: hiring a security guard, carding at the door, applying wristbands to distinguish age, providing non-alcoholic beverages, having a sober monitor for every 10-15 guests, having a guest sign-in sheet which may be given to the university, and provide non-salty foods. Some of these items I understand. The ones that baffle me are the “provide non-salty foods,” and the needing one sober monitor for every ten guests. The rest are just typical cover-your-ass procedures. However, hiring a security guard, buying wristbands, and buying food all add up in cost in addition to the third party vendor costs.
I’ve been told that another option is for organizations is to rent out a bar for their parties. The cost of that can run $500 on a weekday, and $1,000 on a weekend. The kicker, from what I’ve heard, is that bars typically require you to get a band if you rent out the bar. If that is true, your event can get pretty expensive depending on who you get.
Finally, the rules under the “What Constitutes a Chapter Event” section are extremely vague. In short, if a few fraternity members buy a keg and invite a few friends over, this could now be considered a chapter event. There is a chance that the university will take advantage of this vague description because, if an organization does not inform the university of an event, they could get hit with violations.
Here are the documents that were sent to us via the anonymous tipsters:
Dark times are looming on the Rocky Top. Stay the course, and fight the good fight, Vols..
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