We’d be lying if we denied that one of the best features of Greek life is the social events. Of course, we care about philanthropy and sisterhood, but one of the main attractions of joining a fraternity or a sorority is getting to know other people, both within your chapter and other chapters. And while there are some sober events where this can take place, the majority of socializing with other people in the systems goes on in a fraternity house, gathered around the keg or playing beer pong on some grimy table. But for the fraternity and sorority members at Rutgers, this type of social event is no longer an option — for this semester, anyway.
Decided upon at meeting last week and announced on Monday, Rutgers imposed a house party ban for the eighty-six fraternities and sororities on campus for the remainder of the semester. The Rutgers Greek System has been plagued with issues this year. In September, 19-year-old sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs died from alcohol-related causes after attending a party at Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Last month, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity was shut down after an underage member was hospitalized after drinking at a chapter event. According to nj.com,“Another five unnamed Rutgers fraternities are also facing campus discipline reviews for alcohol-related incidents.”
What about the most important event of the spring: formal? Luckily, events are allowed as long as the booze is served by a third-party vendor at an off-campus location, so the approximately 4,500 students that participate in Greek life at Rutgers won’t miss out on formals, which usually mark the end of the school year.
In a statement to TIME, university spokesman E.J. Miranda said, “[The university] is taking this step out of caution and concern and will use this time to continue and reinforce its dialogue with the leadership of the university’s 86 recognized fraternities and sororities about Greek life at Rutgers and their responsibilities to the campus community at large.”
While the move is aimed at increasing safety, there are some that think it will do just the opposite. “That doesn’t mean parties are gonna stop happening, it means they will stop happening at their lettered houses,” says fraternity member Jeremy Deane told CBS Philly. “But every fraternity has a satellite house somewhere in New Brunswick, in a less safe place, and they’re just going to have their parties there instead.”
Sounds like Rutgers may be applying a Band-Aid to a situation that calls for surgery..