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February 11, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-11

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 11, 1994 - 3


- A report on alcohol consumption on campus

everal young men and
women shiver as they whip
out student IDs for the fra-
ternity guys at the door.
"Do you have an invite?" the tall
doorkeeper in the red baseball cap
asks the small group as he stamps out
a cigarette with his Nike. The stu-
dents shake their heads and the young
women in the group pout flirtatiously.
Seeming to have pity, the brother
motions the group inside.
Smoke billows to the ceiling. The
*thrasher band on the stage imitates
Beavis 'n' Butt-Head before launch-
ing into another stream of unrecog-
nizable lyrics.
A young woman, apparently
drunk, slipscloselyup against a young
man and asks, "Do you have any beer
.that you want to give me?" long be-
fore she asks his name.
This is a scene familiar to many
University students who have wan-
*dered between fraternity parties on
Friday, Saturday and even Thursday
nights as first-year students walk out
of their dorms in hordes, the lucky
ones who had invites from various
fraternities shoved under their doors
clutching them carefully.
At another fraternity party that
"same evening, a keg is hidden in one
of the brothers' rooms, presumably
*because kegs are forbidden by the
policy of the fraternity's national
chapter and the University Interfra-
ternity Council (IFC). Enforcement
of this policy is avoided as the secre-
tive brothers are the only ones al-
lowed access to the keg room, where
they secure beer for their guests.
ut fraternities are not the
only places University stu
dents engage in Bacchan
rituals. Undergrads can be discov-
ered worshipping the Greek god of
wine and revelry in houses, dorms,
bars and apartments as well on any
random weekend night.
Whether they're beingresponsible
about their habits or blatantly violat-
ing the laws, University policies and
social mores are issues of concern to
Many students hang out at local
bars, such as Ashley's, for their beer
pitcher specials on weeknights. Jeff
More, general manager of Ashley's,
said many students flock to his estab-
lishment on Tuesday nights for the
pitcher special and live jazz.
More added that he often refuses
to serve alcohol to obnoxious or
drunken customers. Ashley's also
confiscates a couple of fake IDs every
week. However, More added, the res-
taurant hasn't had any serious prob-
lems, except when "occasionally
somebody gets sick."
Primo Kang, manager of the Blue
Front, a local convenience store, said
ie has confiscated more than 200 IDs,
Which he proudly displays on a wall
in the store.
% He added that Blue Front sells
~ about 100 kegs and $10,000 worth of
canned beer - mostly Busch Light
and Bud Light - every weekend.
"Students - they like cheaper beer,
you know," he said.

e Panhel-
T e n i c
s so i-
ation and
IFC Alcohol Policy
forbids "bulk quanti-
ties of alcohol such as
kegs" at any fraternity
social event. Its direc-
tives also demand that.
no glass containers be
permitted, transporta-
tion options be dis-
played, and admissionu
to open parties only be
granted with an invita-
tion or guest list.
In addition to these
regulations, fraternities
must have a minimum
of two sober monitors -
and one sober door-
keeper present at all
As part of their al-
cohol policy, the IFC
and Panhellenic
Assoication (Panhel)
formed the Social Re-
sponsibility Commit-
tee (SRC) "to ensure
that the alcohol policy
is obeyed by all mem-
ber organizations."
The SRC is made
up of representatives of
cooperating fraternities
and sororities, whose
responsibility is to pa-
trol fraternity parties to
see that the rules are
being followed. The
vast majority of houses
cooperate, but at least
two houses said they
do not fully cooperate.
However, Bora Gulari, a first-year
Engineering student who regularly
attends fraternity parties, said,
"There's a large quantity of kegs. It
doesn't seem like the people in frater-
nities are worried about getting in
trouble. The kegs are out in the open."
John Pyke, an LSA senior and
president of Pi Lambda Phi fraternity,
said, "I don't think (SRC) is very
effective - not thorough enough in
their searches.
"I've been in houses where there
are kegs upstairs and IFC doesn't see
it," he added. "I'd say fraternities are
more concerned about the police than
Not too many of the fraternities
pull out a guest list or demand invita-
tions-by the way, they can't use the
Student Directory as a guest list.
In fact, partygoers say it's pretty
common knowledge among students
that women can get in to just about
any party - even supposedly closed
two-ways or four-ways, parties in
which twoor fourhouses are involved.
"If you have a U-M ID, you can
pretty much get in anywhere," Gulari
The policy is fairly new: it has
been in effect for about three years.
Andy Hwang, LSAsenior and IFC
social chair, said there is "a big push
for risk management nowadays ... to
make sure that all the houses have
some sort of effective risk manage-


Hwang added that fraternities are
not required to card partygoers to see
whether they are under the drinking
age, because "Most people don't know
the difference between a real ID and a
fake ID." Besides, most fraternity
parties have a "bring your own beer"
policy anyway, he said.
However, many say that fraterni-
tiesclaim partygoers are bringing their
own alcohol,in order to conceal alco-
hol distribution by the fraternity.
"I've been to parties where every-
one has cans of Milwaukee's Best,"
Pyke said, "and IFC comes in and
believes that everybody brought the
beer themselves, and I really don't
think that's the truth."
However, Gulari added that "It
does seem like (fraternities) always
have a couple of people in control ...
that are looking over things."
Drinking has become quite
a pastime on campus -
about 61 percent of un-
dergraduates say they drink once a
week or more, according to a survey
conducted by the University Initia-
tive on Alcohol and Other Drugs last
Some students said they think this
percentage is a result of the high focus
on alcohol use in the Greek system, in
which about 25 percent of undergradu-
ates are involved.
Steve Brand, Business school se-
nior and president of Phi Kappa Tau
fraternity, said, "The focus of a frater-
nity party is on alcohol. The focus of
house parties isn't on alcohol ... be-
cause everybody knows everybody.
It's a lot more of a get-together."
Aside from his own fraternity's
parties, Brand said he prefers going to
house parties and stays away from
other Greek parties. He said this is
because mostly sophomores and first-
year students attend frat parties, and
he doesn't want to wait in line for
kegs anymore.
With such a high rate of alcohol
consumption on campus, the preva-
lence of abuse and of its consequences
is a fear for many students and fac-
ulty. A recent survey reported that 74
percent of undergrads drink in a one-
month period, and 66.8 percent of
them have hangovers.
Emily Lumpp, an LSA sopho-
more, said, "It's a problem that needs

accept that and people grow up even-
tually. Luckily, a whole lot of people
don't drive around here," he said.
ne major complaint of stu
dent binge drinkers is
"hooking up" with those
whom they
wouldn't hold
hands with in
Chris Single-
ton, a second-
year grad student4
in the businessf
school, said that'
when students
drink, "I don't
think you're in
any condition to
evaluate some-
body on their
merits, like their
personality, who
they're all about.
I mean, you just
kind of have an
idea of what their
looks are, and
that's about it....
It's pretty sad. You don't even know
what they're all about as a person."
He added that when he's gotten
involved with someone while he was
drunk, "Obviously you feel pretty stu-
pid. I mean, you've been intimate
with somebody that you don't even
However, Singleton added that
such irresponsible behavior does not
occur much among graduate students.
"It happened when we were younger,
when we didn't really know the way
the world works, and now we do."
Brand agreed. "I notice that once
most people go through their sopho-
more year, after that, it really starts to
taper off."
Brand's and Singleton's opinions
are backed by the University's alco-
hol and drugs survey. About 46 per-
cent of undergraduates said they were
embarrassed or disturbed by some-
thing they did while drinking, when
only 25 percent of graduate students
surveyed had the same experience.
Students also said alcohol-related
sexual assault is still prevalent. Reichl
explained that "Parties have multi-
tudes of people, people get separated
and people lose control of their senses,

Above: Three University students
participate in a "Keg Stand."
Below: A group of students enjoy
coffee at a local cafe.

31 percent
ive without
Drinking is a huge part of cam-
pus social life. It's discussed in'
class, at meals, in the dorms and
while kneeling before a toilet at 3
a.m. on a Saturday morning. But
what about the approximately 31
percent ofundergraduateswho, ac-
cording toa University study, don't
drink once a week or more?
Matt Fishbeck, a non-drinker
and LSA first-year student, said he
doesn't drink because, "Students
are heretolearn. Thatdoesn'tmean
they can't enjoy themselves, but
that doesn't mean they should waste
their lives by abusing substances,
Matt Reichl, an LSA first-year
student, said he drinks very little
because "it's just not what I choose
to do. I choose to spend my time
other ways. I'm a little more cre-
ative.. It's just not the most inter-
esting thing I could be doing with
my time."
Brigham Smith, an LSAsopho-
more who lives in substance-free
University housing, said he never
drinks because, "There's nothing:
intrinsically appealing to me in
cominghome andretchingmy guts
out. I think that's an inherently bad
thing, and something one would
usually try to avoid."
As partying alternatives, these
students offered films, concerts and
sporting events.
Fishbeck said, "You can play
board games or pinball or watch a
movie. If you have to drink, drink
root beer."
Smith said abstaining doesn't
keep him from going to parties and,
having fun. "I think a lot of people
lose their inhibitions by drinking,
and so parties are often more fun if
you drink ... but I don't think you
need to drink to overcome your
Fishbeck added, "Usually when
people drink or get high, they end
up looking foolish."
David Mathias, an LSA sopho-
more and president of Christians in
Action (CIA), said, "Non-drinkers
are social beings who desire to
have a good time and hang out with
That's why CIA holds Friday-
night meetings and non-alcoholic
social events, such as tailgate par-
ties during the football season.
"If you don't think that alcohol
should play apart in people's lives,
then it's reasonable to provide non-
alcoholic social events," Mathias
Not drinking is a strong com-
mitment for many students. "My
friends and I are committed to so-
briety,"Fishbeck said."We always
have a good time without alcohol."
she hopes the University's services
will provide students with such an

"As long as drinking is seen as a
rite of passage in our society, we're
going to face that problem," Kraus
said. She added that a major source of
peer pressure could be supported by
the survey's indication that "Not ev-
erybody on this campus drinks.
Everybody thinks everybody drinks.
... That's not true."
s Phi Kappa Tau Presi
AXdent Brand said, "Drink
'ng on campus is here to
All the problems that accompany
it seem to be staying as well, with

offered a solution to what she sees as
an alcohol problem among students.
"Everything I've heard indicates that
alcohol and other drugs are still a
large problem on this campus."
To reduce abusive drinking on
campus, UCS and several other
groups, including University Health
Services (UHS), the Office of Greek
Life, the Sexual Assault Prevention
and Awareness Center and the ath-
letic department have joined forces to
create the Substance Abuse Educa-
tion Network (SAEN) to provide ser-
vices for students.
For starters, students can go to
UCS for a free evaluation of their
alcohol use, Kraus said.
A few other free programs include
a support/therapy group for students
who wish to change their drinking
patterns, short-term individual therapy
and referrals to long-term treatment,
both out-patient and residential.
Additionally, SAEN organizes
preventative educational programs
and a computer conference for those
who wish to learn more about alcohol
and other drug abuse. The computer
conference is designed for any stu-
dents, faculty or staff members who

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