Fraternities in both the US and Canada will soon be banned from serving hard alcohol. The North-American Interfraternity Conference voted on August 27 and in a "near-unanimous vote,” agreed upon the new policy that will take effect by September 1, 2019.
The ban will prohibit all 66 international and national men's fraternities under the conference from serving “alcohol products above 15% ABV in any chapter facility or at any chapter event, except when served by a licensed third-party vendor,” within fraternity chapters, private living spaces and at fraternity hosted events unless it is served by a licensed third-party vendor, according to NBC Philadelphia. The new policy will be implemented at 6,100 chapters on 800 campuses.
Alcohol related deaths and incidents
The association’s vote that has fraternity members banned from serving hard alcohol comes after a slew of dangerous incidents where students have died from intoxication or are the victims of hazing. Most notably the death of Penn State University student and Beta Theta Pi pledge Tim Piazza.
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Piazza died last year in February after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol as part of a hazing ritual. Intoxicated, Piazza, who was on prescription anti-depressants fell repeatedly throughout the night, suffering a ruptured spleen and head trauma. His fraternity brothers failed to get the 19-year-old medical help for fear they would get in trouble. The chapter house was shut down following Piazza’s death.
Thursday on @CBSThisMorning: The president of @Penn State University, Eric Barron, speaks out for the first time since 19-year-old Tim Piazza died last year in a hazing ritual. pic.twitter.com/Ro8dDw44oT— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 5, 2018
Ban on hard alcohol a start
In light of the new ban on serving hard alcohol, Piazza's father told USA Today the new policy is a "good start."
Following the vote, Conference president and CEO Judson Horras shared that the association’s “action shows fraternities' clear commitment and leadership to further their focus on the safety of members and all in our communities.”