|Wild and Crazy No More|
The on-campus party scene hasn't been the same since a rash of incidents two years ago - including a rape and a stabbing - forced administrators and students to rethink the planning and oversight of Class F parties (those where alcohol is served). When students returned from winter break in January 1997, they were greeted with new regulations governing all Class F events, whether at fraternity houses, program houses, or in individual dorm rooms. As the class of 2002 arrives on campus, students and parents alike want to know: Has the new policy made a difference?
David Inman thinks so. An associate dean of student life and the director of student activities, Inman coordinates the planning of Class F events on campus. "Students initially were worried that they would lose control of their social life to the University," he says. But by filling the task force that shaped the new regulations with three deans and ten students, administrators were able to draft rules that Inman calls "student-driven."
The most significant change was the creation of party managers, five individuals designated by the party sponsor to attend an orientation session with Inman and to oversee the party itself. Party managers, who are not allowed to drink alcohol at the event, keep an eye out for overcrowding and overindulgence.
Although Jake Kramer '99, treasurer of the Greek Council and a member of Sigma Chi, calls the detailed plans required before each party "a hassle," he thinks the trouble is worth it. "They're a good intermediary between party guests and the administration," he says. Kramer and his Sigma Chi brother Max Colice '99, who is the Greek Council's president, agree that the policy has resulted in tamer and more infrequent parties. "It's not quite as wild and crazy as it used to be," says Colice.
Statistics kept by Inman seem to support Colice's contention. He says that, during the 218 Class F events registered with his office during the 1997-98 academic year, only two incidents required "disciplinary follow-up." Before the new policy, campus police regularly shut down parties for overcrowding. "The policy," he says, "is consonant with the general philosophy of the University. We provide support, but students are responsible for their personal lives. If they choose to be irresponsible, they'll find themselves in front of the UDC [University Disciplinary Council.]"
The new policy hasn't changed one thing, however. When the party doors open at a fraternity house on a typical Saturday night, Inman says, "you won't find any deans there."