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National ban of hard alcohol in fraternities won’t reduce incidents

Restrictions will result in students concealing drinking events, reduce student, university trust

Banning+hard+alcohol+in+fraternities+will+make+students+hide+events+with+alcohol+more+carefully.+
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National ban of hard alcohol in fraternities won’t reduce incidents

Banning hard alcohol in fraternities will make students hide events with alcohol more carefully.

Banning hard alcohol in fraternities will make students hide events with alcohol more carefully.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | EVERGREEN PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS

Banning hard alcohol in fraternities will make students hide events with alcohol more carefully.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | EVERGREEN PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | EVERGREEN PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS

Banning hard alcohol in fraternities will make students hide events with alcohol more carefully.

GRANT CIUBA, Evergreen columnist

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Restrictions will result in students concealing drinking events, reduce student, university trustThe new ban on hard alcohol at fraternities nationwide won’t stop students from drinking. It’s college — a lot of students are going to want to drink regardless of any new rule.

Recently, the North-American Interfraternity Conference issued a nationwide ban on hard alcohol to its 6,000-plus member chapters. WSU’s fraternities will abide by the ruling which requires fraternities to have a compliant policy by Sept. 1, 2019.

The goal of this resolution is to reduce some of the dangerous repercussions from the consumption of hard alcohol, especially with underage students. The ban takes steps toward improving the safety of the students on campus but may not work how the NIC plans.

However, WSU already established an alcohol-free policy for fraternities, an expectation which has historically been ignored by many fraternities on campus.

For campuses like Purdue University and Dartmouth College, which have already banned hard alcohol, there have been positive results with colleges reporting fewer alcohol-induced injuries, hospitalizations and arrests.

To be frank, this was a great decision by the NIC but it’s unlikely to stop students from drinking hard alcohol.

One of the main reasons for this ban is all the sexual assaults that happen not only at WSU but nationwide.

My concern is that this resolution could create a more secretive drinking environment. By that I mean students in fraternities will continue to drink hard alcohol but just not in an open setting. We might end up seeing hard alcohol consumed behind closed doors or concealed in a number of creative ways.

Greek students are not just going to stop drinking just because they aren’t allowed to anymore. It will probably take some time for students to transition from what they’re used to today to a world where only beer and wine are served.

“I mean realistically I don’t think this is going to do anything yet,” WSU fraternity member Scott Morse said. “Kids our age never follow the rules … if they want to drink hard alcohol, they’re going to drink hard alcohol.”

So if the goal before the ban was to reduce all of the injuries, sexual assaults and hospital visits, what can be done now to stop them from happening?

The removal of hard alcohol is not the only step that has to be taken to solve this problem, but it is the first step of many to reduce the number of sexual assaults, alcohol-related deaths and other issues that have been plaguing the Greek system.

Students are still going to party, but taking away drinks with a higher alcohol percentage could help prevent blackouts that go on in the Greek system.

But even if the ban reduces some alcohol-related incidents, the wedge it drives between the Greek system and administration exacts a heavier toll. When students lose trust in the people who enforce rules, it will make them feel more like adversaries.

I’m sure it’s going to take a lot more than this ban to see the desired changes within Greek systems across the nation.

Let’s hope that this new resolution is the first in a series of steps to get us there, but as it stands now, it will only serve to widen the gap between students and college administration.

About the Writer
GRANT CIUBA, Evergreen columnist

Grant is a senior public relations and risk and crisis management double major from Seattle.

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National ban of hard alcohol in fraternities won’t reduce incidents