Fraternities circumvent University’s keg policy

GW fraternities are violating University policies that ban kegs and other “common source” containers at parties, said several fraternity members and Tracie Anzaldi, the University’s coordinator for Greek affairs.

Anzaldi, a member of the University’s Alcohol Review and Request Committee, said “bring your own beer” policies have never been enforced on campus. She said she is frustrated fraternity members violate the policy even after they sign forms promising to throw “BYOB” events.

Anzaldi said the BYOB policy protects fraternities from liability.

“They’re just not smart about it,” Anzaldi said. “The best we can do is educate them to make an educated stupid mistake.”

One GW fraternity member who asked not to be identified said GW chapters do not always follow the rules that prohibit “common source” containers. The regulations require fraternities to ask partygoers to “bring your own beer” or provide a “third-party vendor.”

“The `BYOB’ regulation is the most commonly ignored regulation in the Greek community,” he said.

The member said if one fraternity throws a successful BYOB party, others will follow. He also said his fraternity is taking steps to establish a BYOB policy.

“In my three years at GW, I’ve never been to a BYOB party,” said another fraternity member, who also asked not to be identified.

GW recently changed its alcohol policies for Greek-letter organizations to ensure the University’s process complemented those of most national fraternity organizations, Anzaldi said. The national fraternities almost always require chapters to host BYOB functions or hold parties with third-party alcohol vendors for insurance reasons, Anzaldi said.

GW’s registration forms clarify the BYOB policy.

“Common sources (kegs, party balls, etc.) are prohibited under the University’s Alcohol Policy. Alcohol may be distributed on campus only by GW catering located in Marvin Center 204,” according to the Alcohol Request for a University Sponsored Event.

Interfraternity Council President Neil Smith said the IFC has not heard any judicial cases that included BYOB violations this academic year.

Dan Chapple, the IFC vice president for judicial affairs, said GW fraternities do not throw keg parties and are following regulations, as far as he knows.

The Student Association’s ad hoc Greek Affairs Committee suggested the University clarify its alcohol policies in the community’s report published last month.

“In general, fraternities are worried about getting punished for rules they don’t even know about,” said Aaron Chacker, committee chair.

Chacker, who also is a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said his fraternity has not thrown parties because members do not want to risk violating University rules.

As for the BYOB rule, Chacker said GW fraternities are doing their best to comply with the current policies.

Smith said the Greek-letter initiative to develop risk management policies for GW fraternities will make members more aware of the benefits of BYOB.

Anzaldi said fraternity members are noticed on campus, have houses indicating their affiliation and have an adviser whose duty it is to “better the Greek-letter community.” As a result, fraternities are more closely scrutinized, she said.

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