Penn State joined forces with the Interfraternity Council to ban all Greek socials involving alcohol earlier this semester after student Timothy Piazza died from injuries sustained when he fell down the stairs at Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Now, an email from IFC President Dean Vetere to all current chapter presidents says the Panhellenic Council has changed its rules to allow sorority members to attend dry events at fraternity houses.
“The intent of this is so that events that Greek organizations hold high importance to, such as Parents Weekend and Formal, can now happen in the form of a dry event,” Vetere wrote in the email. “In no way, shape, or form is this intended to replace normal socials or the typical social schedule.”
The email says this policy change from Panhel also holds the sororities accountable along with the fraternities in case of any violation to the alcohol policies. If only a sorority member violates the alcohol policies, only the sorority will be held accountable as long as the frat didn’t provide the alcohol, purchase the alcohol, or encourage the drinking in any way.
“Not a single dollar of chapter funds is to be spent on alcohol; no attempts at sneaking it (i.e. hiding a keg on the third floor) should happen; and not a single message encouraging sororities to show up drunk should be sent,” Vetere wrote. “All of the stated actions will put the liability onto your chapter.”
Only one-on-one socials (one sorority and one fraternity) are allowed and the email indicates Penn State will still perform “spot checks” at least once a weekend.
“This is a great opportunity to show that we are capable of maintaining safe occupancy levels, effectively executing safe risk management rules, and have control over our chapters,” Vetere wrote. “This is an opportunity we don’t want to blow, and remember that all decisions you make will effect [sic]our entire community.”