In this chaotic, unstable world, there remains one universal truth: the easiest way to ruin something is by making alcohol off-limits. Remember a little thing called “The Prohibition”? That didn’t work out so well, now did it? Alcohol is a part of our culture — not just on college campuses, but especially on college campuses. Since, as a country, we’ve made the legal drinking age older than it is in any other (relevant) country, we’ve done little to stop America’s youth from drinking, and a lot to pique its curiosity on the subject. In most of Europe, it is common for people to start drinking as teens, often under the supervision of their parents. They learn how to drink responsibly at a young age, so by the time they’re full-fledged adults on their own in the world, they aren’t giant assholes.
Here, we’re giant assholes.
And the restraints on alcohol are only becoming stricter and stricter. The University of Tennessee is a dry campus, and according to a tipster, enforcing that has become a top priority.
The administration has found a loophole so that if any registered campus organization that has a “wet” event on or off campus, the organization is liable for the event rather than the individuals who own the house/hosted the party. This means if we take parties OFF campus, UTPD still ties it to the chapter and we all get fucked.
According to the tipster, this was put into place last Thursday, and since then 40 new campus police officers were hired. Based on his tip, it seems that fraternities are being specifically targeted. While the university itself sells tailgate space “with fully stocked bars,” fraternity houses are being raided weekly for alcohol and may be charged for so much as an empty beer can.
We can no longer drink in our houses, we can’t send out Facebook or GroupMe party invitations, and worst of all is that if I were drinking with 10 of my brothers on the front porch of our off-campus house and we were approached by police, chances are there would be someone there underage and our entire chapter would suffer.
This crackdown on fraternities’ alcohol use went into effect last Thursday, but it seems to have been brewing for awhile. According to a second tipster, the school allegedly entered the fraternity houses and did searches when members were home under the guise of fire drills.
While on Christmas break the head of IFC conducted a fire drill on all house on fraternity row. Now, 60% of the fire drill test is passed on the people living within the house. So how is the fire drill helpful when no one is there to test? The real reason the fire drill happened is so administrators could search the fraternity houses up and down. My fraternity is currently on probation because the administrator found empty keg shells in a closed closet inside the chapter room. It is stated in the book of policies (Hilltopics) that UT personnel are not allowed in the chapter rooms or ritual rooms. Therefore the search was illegal.
Sororities, too, have been affected by the changes. According to a female tipster, the girls were strongly advised to stay away from frat row over the weekend. They are not permitted to wear their lavaliers out at night, and some were even instructed to lie if police approached them and asked if they were in a sorority.
Our initial tipster sees some hopeful, though.
There is a rogue group of students within IFC and Student Council that are researching and analyzing statistics from other universities, mainly SEC schools and other universities with similar enrollment and Greek systems. This initiative, which is quickly gaining momentum and support from students, faculty, and even some of the reasonable administrators (that aren’t dipshits and realize that pushing us further away only increases the likelihood of trouble/accidents) developing a case to present at the next Board of Directors’ meeting; Their ultimate goal is to make this a wet campus.
Yikes. What a mess..