Cal Poly adopts policy banning kegs, drinking games at Greek parties

Agreement is in exchange for abolishment of university rule banning male freshmen from joining a fraternity in their first quarter

nwilson@thetribunenews.comFebruary 12, 2014 

Cal Poly and its Greek community have agreed on a party registration policy that limits event times, bans drinking games and requires guest lists to be submitted in advance.

The university’s Student Affairs Division approved the policy Wednesday, ending a monthlong social probation that suspended Greek life gatherings until an agreement was reached.

The revised party policy was a response to a number of alcohol-related incidents in recent years, including the 2008 death of Carson Starkey after a fraternity hazing event.

The university consulted the alcohol awareness organization started by Starkey’s parents, Aware Awake Alive, in developing the new policy.

“We believe this is an important new tool in helping our students maintain their own health and well-being and develop good neighbor and community relations,” said Keith Humphrey, the university’s vice president for student affairs.

The policy, effective immediately, includes limits on days and times when fraternity and sorority parties may be held and sets a five-hour cap on the festivities.

No parties may be held during finals week or on a school night, among other regulations.
Consumption of shots of alcohol, the playing of drinking games and other potentially dangerous behaviors are prohibited.

Hard alcohol and kegs are banned, and students 21 or older are limited to bringing one six-pack of beer or one bottle of wine to a party.

In keeping with state law, underage drinking is banned. Additionally, party hosts must employ a wristband system to prevent those younger than 21 from drinking.

The agreement requires parties of 100 people or more to be registered at least 10 days in advance and parties of fewer than 100 to be registered at least five days in advance.

A guest list also must be submitted for each party 24 hours in advance with birthdates provided for those 21 and older. The organizations must register with Cal Poly’s coordinators of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

“We will be working to successfully implement the new policies as soon as this weekend,” said Danielle Durante, Cal Poly’s Panhellenic president representing sororities. “We will start reviewing the effectiveness of the policy with administration and creating any needed changes by the beginning of March.”

Humphrey said in a statement that Cal Poly Greek life students “wrote every draft” of the policy and formalized it only after fraternities and sororities were in agreement.

Policy changes at the university were announced in June as part of an effort to heighten oversight of fraternities and sororities.

Greek life organizations agreed to implement several policies and procedures over a three-year period in exchange for abolishing a university regulation prohibiting male freshmen from joining a fraternity in their first quarter.

Penalties for violations of the party registration policy will include a written warning after the first infraction.

A second infraction would lead to a meeting with the student Greek judicial council and the dean of students.

A third violation, and any thereafter, would lead to a suspension of the chapter’s social activities and possible additional sanctions.

As part of the new policy’s interim period, any changes to the guidelines after an initial review period will be made by the end of the spring quarter in June.

A final agreement would then need to be reached by the fall quarter in September.

Read the policy

Cal Poly's new party registration policy is available online at http://studentlife.calpoly.edu/greek/info_resources/policies.asp.

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