NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Current and former Rutgers University students spent much of the last day around water cools debating the university’s decision to ban all fraternity and sorority house parties for the remainder of the spring 2015 semester. The ban was leveled on all 86 of Rutgers’s fraternities and sororities. The sobering realities of the ban hit many unsuspecting Greek Life students as hard as this year’s cold winter.
There is no Dean Wormer handing down a “double secret probation” or Otter and Boon, as in the comedy movie “Animal House,” there to help fight the ban. This is no laughing matter.
The university is taking serious steps, and everyone knows it. In September 2014 Rutgers student Caitlyn Kovacs died of alcohol poisoning after attending a Delta Kappa Epsilon party. A few weeks later, another Rutgers student was hospitalized after attending frat party. Fraternities and sororities throughout the United States have been plagued with one bad Greek Life headline after another.
“I didn’t belong to a sorority, but I did attend parties while attending Douglass College in the late 1980’s early 1990’s,” Rutgers graduate Claire Harris said. “Someone died at a frat when I was a freshman. There has been a long history of drinking problems at frats and sororities at Rutgers.”
“I was not in a sorority or frat while at Rutgers. However, I do feel the ban is an excessive punishment for all fraternities and sororities,” South Plainfield’s Chere Glover said. Glover an undergraduate and graduate alumni said “I'm sure drinking happens all over the campus, and you can't ban it everywhere. I think that unless Rutgers becomes a completely dry campus, they may not be able to avoid such unfortunate circumstances. And even then there is no guarantee.”
“While at Rutgers I was a little sister in the ZBT fraternity,” Beth Pauly Schall said. “We were basically an adjunct social club. I don't know if the bans are needed in this case, but I can speculate that alcohol is a big problem at Rutgers as well as many other universities. Many reasons contribute to this trend. When I was at Rutgers (1978 to 1982) there were campus pubs where you could socialize, drink beer and walk home. Today, many students are gathering at questionable pubs outside of campus, and perhaps driving home.”
One of the problems, according to Schall, is the choice of alcohol has changed also. “Where we had beer on tap, they are drinking mixed drinks, flavored vodkas and shots.”
According to Glover “the best remedy for the problem is for the University to educate its students as much as possible about the dangers of alcohol. Maybe require that all students take an alcohol awareness workshop prior to entering the University.”