Crossover, traditionally, occurs the night before classes start and is when the first parties of the school year occur. For such events to happen on campus, there are rules in place specifically to protect students’ safety.
On Sept. 3, Greek organizations on campus attended a training required to host events on campus with alcohol. It was put on by Matt Jones, assistant director of Greek life, and was similar to the training Resident Assistants and First Year Guides received prior to the start of school.
Topics discussed included intoxication risk factors— such as weight, gender, rate alcohol was consumed as well as others—and behavior cues. The cues started at lowered inhibition and increased to loss of judgement, slowed reactions and loss of coordination. Members were also advised on what action to take when someone is at each level.
All campus organizations are required to follow Alma College’s policies, which are in the student handbook under “Alcohol-Related Events Policy” and the alcohol policy. A few rules in place include hours events are allowed, the banning of drinking games, the requirement of security at events that have alcohol as well as color-coded wristbands representing those attendings’ ages.
Additionally, each organization has their own security measures in place and have to follow the local laws. This includes no drinking under the age of 21.
The fraternities on campus range in the number of parties they have from one a year to one or two a month depending on their organization. They are subject to the same rules regardless of frequency.
“Our risk manager will assign brothers to security for the party a week in advance, and then the day of the party, all of the brothers will meet and go through a run through on how we want the party to go,” said Tait Morrissey (’21), president of Sigma Chi, on how they prepare for events.
During gatherings, brothers at Sigma Chi are stationed around the house watching for safety issues. They also count those who come in and out to stay below capacity and have a brother stationed on the front porch.
Colin Englehart (’20)¸ president of Phi Mu Alpha, said his fraternity reaches out to alumni for events like homecoming when there are more brothers around for additional help. They also have sober brothers in every room that is occupied to watch out for safety hazards. “I personally feel that we make safety our number one priority, especially when it comes to parties,” said Matt Leppien (‘20), president of Delta Gamma Tau. Before parties, they have a meeting to establish who is working security as well as go over plans in case of an emergency before preparing the house.
As the event occurs, the brothers of Delta Gamma Tau communicate frequently through their phones. They are constantly on the lookout for unsafe situations and occasionally walk around to make sure “nobody is doing anything they aren’t supposed to be doing while in our house,” said Leppien.
Englehart, Leppien, and Morrissey suggest going out with a group of friends that you know. “I would say trust your gut and know your limits. If you feel like something is wrong, chances are it probably is,” said Leppien. Englehart suggests having a plan with friends before going out, including if there will be any drinking before it happens.
“As college kids, we all know people will drink before coming to parties but be responsible,” said Morrissey. “It is important to know limits and keep track of what has been consumed because it will assist in getting the right care,” he said.
“Don’t be afraid to communicate with whoever is running the party in a situation where you may need some assistance,” said Leppien.