By Mike Caputo and Lauren Varga
Fraternities are the only student groups on Rider grounds that can rightfully host parties with alcohol, according to University codes and regulations.
For the fraternities to hold a party at one of the houses, the event must be registered with the University. Non Greek-affiliated students are not permitted to host parties in the residence halls with the presence of
Although alcohol is permitted in the residence halls for those who are of the legal age to drink, the number of guests in the room “must not pose a health or safety risk,” according to The Source. Dean of Students Tony Campbell suggests that eight or more is usually the measuring stick for Public Safety and Residence Life officials to gauge if a gathering in a residence hall room is considered a party.
Unlike students in residence halls, fraternities are allowed to host parties with alcohol while underage students are present.
According to the Greek Social Event Policy, all guests must be identified as legally allowed to drink or not and “must have on hand wristbands to mark those guests who are of legal age and wish to drink.”
According to Campbell, the overriding reason for the privilege the fraternities have is the insurance coverage they have.
Hosting a registered party on the Lawrenceville campus comes with a big price tag though. According to Campbell, the fraternities’ national headquarters take out insurance at a rate worth about $1 million.
However, Campbell said rules mean these fraternities take on an important responsibility.
“Being a privilege holds you to higher standards,” said Campbell. “Rules are the minimum. The hope is that people transcend the minimum and do the right things.”
Students in residence halls cannot register parties because they are not insured.
Sororities at Rider are dry residences; alcohol is not permitted in the living units, even if members are of legal age.
“If you are 21 and your roommate is 21 you’re allowed to have alcohol in your residence hall room, but sororities are different because they are dry [nationally],” said President of Phi Sigma Sigma Laura Green.
According to Green, being dry nationally means that a chapter’s national headquarters, which governs all of its national chapters, does not permit alcohol use. The national headquarters does not take out insurance for such risks.
Policies on parties and drinking are among the many items that are being assessed by the Task Force, which met yesterday for the first time in response to the alcohol-related death of Gary DeVercelly.
The Task Force encompasses a group of students, faculty members and administrators whose job is to “assess the effectiveness of Rider’s alcohol policies, enforcement activities, and education and outreach programs as they pertain to all aspects of student life in the context of national best practices,” President Mordechai Rozanski said last week. According to Vice President Donald Steven, co-chair of the Task Force, the group is expected to have a report by June 1.
According to Ada Badgley, director of Greek Life, changes will be made “to develop more consistent and universal policies where necessary.” Not all policies will be changed, she added, but those that should be, will be.
Badgley also explained that some policies, which differ across campus, couldn’t change. One example being the fact that sorority houses are dry, because that is a national standard. This is because of what Campbell said is the University’s
decision to enforce its own policy except when the national Greek organization’s standards are “stricter.”
“Fraternities and sororities follow university policy with the exception of when the policy is stricter than the University,” said Campbell.
“I think it is important for Greeks to self-govern themselves because more people will be curtious to a member of the house rather than a non-Greek who might not understand our rituals and traditions that mean so much to all the houses,” said Green.
“House managers, like resident advisors, are hired by the University as student employees,” said Director of Greek Life Ada Badgley. “We are working to have a process which includes more student input from members of the Greek community but ultimately the University needs to have the final authority,” said Badgley.
Fraternities and sororities follow university policy with the exception of when the policy is stricter than the university.
“Being a privilege holds you to higher standards”
“Rules are the minimum. The hope is that people transcend the minimum and do the right things.”
Fraternities have insurance and risk management, which is why they are allowed to register parties with the University. Students in residence halls cannot register parties for this reason because they are not covered by an expensive insurance policy like the fraternities are. They have liability. The insurance policies are very expensive. Each fraternity is covered by own insurance. Wristbands are a part of Rider’s social event policy, which goes on board with F.I.P.G.
Define social event as per the Greek Social Event policy. Also define it as per the residence hall policy.
At registered fraternity parties, they are required to have one sober manager per 25 students when there are non-Greeks. It is one per 50 Greek members when it is all Greek members, because all Greek organizations are covered.
Pan-Hell came up with the rule to make all sororities dry even if the nationals do not require it.
Invited experts like his friend Richard Keeler will consult on the situation. “They have a good perspective,” Campbell said.
At the task force, they will have a report by the end of April. If they have to, they will recast the student members after graduation.