All alcohol has been banned at greek life parties and events for an indefinite time period, due to Tech fraternities violating basic policies.According to Mark Ochsenbein, director of student activities, these violations took place during three greek parties last Friday night at the houses of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi and Kappa Sigma. Ochsenbein arrived at the SAE house around 11 p.m., as the party was beginning.
“It’s good to go check to see what’s going on and see if we’re following policies and procedures,” he said. “And if we’re not, we need to fix it.”
All parties must be registered through the Greek Life Office and, according to coordinator Katie Williams, all three of the parties Friday night were registered correctly.
“There are times I do go out and times I don’t,” Ochsenbein said. “This was the first one [of the year.]”
The number of people allowed to attend the party is determined by the number of members throwing the party.
“[The parties] are all by guest invitation only,” Ochsenbein said. “It should be considered an exclusive party.”
When Ochsenbein arrived at the SAE house, he observed people entering the party who were not on the guest list.
“People were there that shouldn’t have been there,” Ochsenbein said. “It’s very critical that you control who’s coming in and who’s not. If you don’t know who people are that are coming in, you don’t know what might happen.”
Ochsenbein said that after having their identifications checked, attendees are then verified on the guest list.
“If they’re not on there, they’re not supposed to come into the party,” Ochsenbein said. “That was a violation. We’re going to fix that.”
According to Ochsenbein, there were too many people in the party who were not on the list.
“I closed that party right then as a result.
“When I was trying to turn people away from the SAE house, they were showing up at the Kappa Sig and Sigma Chi houses,” Ochsenbein said.
After leaving the SAE house, Ochsenbein went to the Kappa Sig and Sigma Chi houses.
However, the same violations were taking place at those parties as well.
“There was no control,” he said. “They’ll say there was control, but there really wasn’t.”
He also said he observed underage drinking at all three parties.
“As a result of all the infractions that I saw, I froze everything,” Ochsenbein said. “We’re not going to have any more parties with alcohol until we get all this figured out.”
Ochsenbein said the policies that they follow now have been in place for years, but they are going to look into alternatives.
“Our parties aren’t terrible “Animal House,” out-of-control deals, but there were some policies that weren’t being followed,” Williams said. “We’re going to have to figure out an easier way for the fraternities to follow those policies and make it safer for our chapters and for our students.”
“We’re looking at other universities and their policies and procedures to see how they are doing things,” Ochsenbein said. “We might adopt some of [those] if they make sense and will help us do our job here.”
The Greek Life Office makes sure that everyone in the greek community is aware of these policies.
“The rules have been made available to them,” Williams said.
According to Ochsenbein and Williams, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity is already on probation for a similar incident.
He said that violating policies and procedures or state laws are grounds for a chapter to be put on probation, typically a ban on alcohol events for a period of time, community service, and even a ban from Homecoming events.
Ochsenbein believes it is unfair for the entire greek community to take a black eye for these incidents.
“Even though alcohol gets 100 percent of the attention, it’s a very small part of all the things that the greeks do,” he said.
“It puts a blemish on it,” he said, “but they’re doing great things on campus.
“Our girls are doing great in our sororities. Our sororities are breaking records on how great their grades are.”
Ochsenbein and Williams held a meeting with the heads of each chapter Wednesday night to discuss the ban and to offer any clarifications that were needed.
“There’s no organization that’s perfect,” Ochsenbein said. “We’ll figure it out, and we’ll be better for it.
“They can continue to do the parties as long as there is no alcohol. If they feel like they can’t do that, [the parties] will be cancelled until we can figure this out.”
Ochsenbein also addressed rumors of why the parties were shut down.
“There were absolutely no kegs,” he said. “Kegs are not allowed. They all know the rules.