Greek social event moratorium receives mixed response

The moratorium on Greek social events for the rest of the semester, enacted in response to a series of alcohol-related incidents in recent months, has garnered criticism and praise on social media, as well as support from student and university leaders.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council met this week to address the “growing problem” of assaults, rapes, falls and hospitalizations in the Greek community, which they attribute to alcohol and drug use. Nathan Harris, IFC president, said a mixed reaction to the ban was expected.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” Harris said. “We are going to stick by it.”

On Twitter, some students questioned the effectiveness of an all-out ban on social events, criticized the focus on party and alcohol culture instead of rape culture. Harris said a lot of work went into the decision and they believe this will help to chip away at rape culture and other issues which pervade universities and the Greek community.

“Over half of our chapters have had some sort of incident in the past year,” he said, and this affects the entire system.

The moratorium is not intended as a punishment, he said, noting that with only a few weeks left, Greek members won’t miss out on many events. He said if they had not banned Greek events universally, the moratorium would not have been successful.

“We thought if we gave them an inch,” he said, “they would take it a mile.”

After things have cooled down, Harris said, he expects people will begin to latch onto the idea and use it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement.

Some fraternity and sorority leaders have backed the moratorium. Joe Kurle, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, said he supports the ban and that it is the job of Greek leadership to communicate to their chapters the good it will do.

“We need to take a pause and realize what we’ve been doing,” Karle said.

Jenni Glover, President of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, released a statement detailing her stance on the situation.

“With the rate and frequency at which our members put themselves and others at risk,” Glover wrote, “we have not had the time to be as preventative as we need and want to be. We have only had the time to be reactive in the moment, which does not stop problems.”

Glover explained how the pause in social events would give Greek leadership “time to invest ourselves wholeheartedly to create a plan to combat the issues.”

ASWSU released a statement on Tuesday as well, saying that although the moratorium is not a permanent solution, it is a step in the right direction against issues which plague colleges around the country.

WSU President Kirk Schulz commended the councils on Twitter, calling the moratorium “amazing student leadership” and “a bold stand for student safety.”

A resident adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the prohibition could lead students who would otherwise party on Greek row to move events to residence halls. He said most residents are not happy with the ban, but understand that it is temporary.

“We understand how large of a social aspect Greek row is,” Harris said, “but in the end it comes down to what is important.”