Greek-sponsored events back in business after new policy approval

By Michelle Gibbons

After various training sessions on alcohol education, the Greek Row moratorium was lifted allowing Greek-sponsored events to officially take place.

According to a February article in the Northern Star, NIU suspended the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and placed an indefinite moratorium on all Greek houses following an altercation at the SAE house where one person was stabbed.

In an official statement released by the university and published in the Star, the moratorium was described as prohibiting all fraternities and sororities from hosting social events in their houses or at third-party venues.

Last spring, a group from the Greek communities, chapter advisers and the university worked on developing a new social policy, said Michael Coakley, assistant vice president for Student Life.

Brian Hemphill, vice president of Student Affairs, lifted the moratorium after the new policy was approved by the Interfraternity Council and the College Panhellenic Council, he said.

The new policy requires professional security, guest lists and registration of events, Hemphill said. Each chapter has to make arrangements to have security present.

“Student Involvement and Leadership Development is entering into a contract with a security firm so it can be less costly to the individual chapters than if they had to go out and find their own,” Coakley said.

External security can be as high as $50 an hour, he said.

Lauren Leighton, a sophomore biology major and Sigma Kappa member said she feels very safe because there are many police officers around Greek Row this semester. However, she feels the moratorium was not fair.

“I think [the moratorium] gives the Greeks a bad name because the problems haven’t been from the Greek community as a whole,” she said.

Once the moratorium was lifted, students on Greek Row could begin to hold events with alcohol and go to third-party venues, Coakley said. However, anyone who wanted to hold the events at their chapter house had to have 51 percent of their members go through training.

Training was done by Nolan Davis, associate director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development for Greek Affairs; Amy Franklin, acting director of Health Enhancement Services and co-chair of the Alcohol Task Force; Troy Melendez, director of Commuter and Non-traditional Student Services and Sgt. Joe Przybyla with the University Police.

The five training sessions, each an hour and a half, took place three weeks before school began and during the first two weeks of school, Franklin said. Students who participated needed to attend one session where basic information regarding alcohol was discussed. This included factors affecting intoxication, the risk of overdose, the behavioral effects of alcohol and other information, Franklin said.

Training sessions will be required on an annual basis, Hemphill said.

As for another moratorium being placed on Greek Row, he said it is unlikely to happen.

“I have a great deal of confidence in the leadership within the Greek community,” he said.

Health Enhancement Services is also trying to ensure student safety.

“We are trying to do all we can as an office to get alcohol education information out to students,” Franklin said.

At the beginning of the semester, Health Enhancement worked with various campus organizations to provide students with a poster on alcohol safety. Posters are located in each residence hall and in other buildings on campus, she said. A Web site is also being established by Health Enhancement Services for student access: