A GW administrator threatened to suspend all fraternity and sorority events involving alcohol if Greek-letter organizations ignore University alcohol regulations.
Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, said he wrote a memo to the entire Greek-letter community last month because he will not tolerate violations of alcohol policies. He said he discovered the community’s disregard of the policies as a result of a March story in The GW Hatchet.
In the article, two fraternity members, who asked to remain anonymous, said GW fraternities do not follow the “bring your own beer” and common-source container policies outlined by the University and individual national chapters. The policies say fraternities cannot throw keg parties or provide alcohol to guests.
“There are certain rules that you could live with that get circumvented, but others you can’t, and clearly BYOB is one I cannot live with,” Gargano said.
According to Gargano’s memo, the procedures for registering Greek-letter events and the policies that regulate alcohol consumption are explicit. Gargano wrote that he expects all procedures to be followed.
“If I do not see results, I will temporarily suspend, for the remaining spring 1999 semester, all events with alcohol, both on and off campus,” Gargano wrote.
But he said he has not been informed of any policy violations since he wrote the memo.
Gargano said alcohol consumption is a critical issue on all college campuses. He said a recent death at the University of Pennsylvania prompted its president, Judith Rodin, to take “a very dramatic step and (she) has made their campus alcohol-free.”
Gargano wrote he is concerned by “the lack of respect and adherence the community has for polices that govern the consumption of alcohol.
“I do not want to explain to my fellow colleagues why alcohol poisoning or the fear of something worse such as death occurred in our community,” he wrote.
Tracie Anzaldi, GW’s coordinator for Greek Affairs, declined to comment about the memo.
Interfraternity Council President Seth Greenberg said the IFC Executive Board discussed Gargano’s memo. He said the IFC plans to continue discussions about the memo’s implications.
“We all know what the policies are, and the IFC takes this issue very seriously,” Greenberg said. “We know that Mike Gargano knows what’s best for the GW community.”
Newly installed Panhellenic Association President Janine Geraigery said sororities do not use the BYOB regulations because they do not have facilities on campus. She said sororities use approved vendors for events.
“It wasn’t an option for me to not follow the rules,” Geraigery said. “It’s not a difficult process.”
Geraigery said Panhellenic Association members will continue to discuss the rules and regulations.
“We’re willing to do something about it,” she said. “We haven’t taken the memo lightly.”
Geraigery said the Greek-letter community should continue to be educated about alcohol regulations and policies to prevent miscommunication.
Crystal Akens said the National Pan Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities have held no events with alcohol this year. She is a former president of the NPHC, which governs historically black fraternities and sororities. Akens said the entire Greek-letter community needs to follow the alcohol regulations.
“To be honest, I think Mike Gargano is in his complete right,” Akens said. “If we can’t follow (the policies), then he is right to suspend alcohol for the remainder of the semester.”
“This is a very cut and dry issue to me,” Gargano said. “Either you follow the procedures or we just won’t have it.”