IFC members vote on alcohol policies within Greek Life and debate on becoming a dry fraternity.

On Thursday April 12, each Emporia State fraternity sat in attendance during an Interfraternity Council (IFC) meeting to discuss alcohol limitations. While one amendment unanimously passed in favor of limiting the percentage of alcohol allowed on a fraternity’s premises to 15% or lower, a discussion about limiting the number of events wherein alcohol is allowed at within a semester was up for debate along with prohibiting alcohol altogether.

In the current IFC policy, there is no limit on the number of events in which alcohol can be present. While some argued this should be capped, others felt that this wouldn't be possible without knowing what classifies as an event. For this reason, the option of a dry fraternity was brought into question.

Representatives of Phi Delta Theta did not see any problem with having a dry fraternity due to the limited amount of drinking that they already have within their chapter.

“I know we're a little bit different than some of the other fraternities,” said Jayden Humphrey, junior vocal education major and president of Phi Delta Theta. “Most of our members didn't expect to join Greek Life when they came here and quite a few of our members actually don't drink or are completely underage. So, alcohol is not even a real focus in our fraternity.” 

However, IFC members in favor of allowing alcohol at events disagreed with Humphrey. One point brought up in the meeting was that Greek Life can't stop college students from drinking because they are going to drink anyway. 

“When we have events at a chapter house, there are rules and procedures in place to mitigate risk. If you take the people out of the place where there are rules, they will go to an outhouse or satellite house,” said Braden Taylor, senior psychology major and member of Sigma Tau Gamma. “We're going to have more issues with alcohol than we would with our current bylaws.”

Another IFC member compared the situation to being a parent and allowing your child to go out to other places or to let them drink under parental supervision.

Due to the large amount of discussion on this topic, IFC decided to table voting until a later date. This date hasn’t been officially set, however IFC board members are hoping to do this before the fall semester begins. Suggestions of creating a summer committee to help make a decision was brought up and IFC agreed to speak more about how this committee would work during the next meeting. 

The other amendment that was reinforced into the IFC bylaws dealt with limiting the alcohol percentage allowed on a chapter’s premises.

 New standards enacted by the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) prohibit any beverages above 15% alcohol content by volume to be on chapter premises, according to NIC’s website. For this to be reinforced into IFC’s bylaws, it had to receive a unanimous vote.

While a three fourth’s vote is usually required, a recent loss of one chapter, Alpha Kappa Lambda, which is in the process of shutting down, required all three fraternities to vote in favor for it to be passed. This amendment was passed favorably and is now updated in the IFC constitution.

The number of those in attendance for this meeting was higher than usual, according to Humphrey.

Despite rising temperatures in the Greek Room of Memorial Union due to a malfunction with the air conditioning, attendance remained high, and members stayed seated until the end of the meeting.

“I'm just excited that we're finally coming together as IFC and figuring things out and actually having these conversations instead of in the past where there's been three or four people in the room and just one representative from each chapter,” Humphrey said. “It's nice to see everyone here even if it's hot because the AC went out.”

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