Headlines like these are all too common in the world of college fraternities, and with over 1,800 college students dying from alcohol-related causes per year, college binge drinking is a dangerous hobby for undergrads. In response, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), representing the majority of fraternities across the U.S., recently voted to ban hard alcohol at all fraternity houses and events in hopes to combat alcohol-related deaths of students.
NIC Policy Aims to Stop Alcohol-Related Incidents
Fraternities across the country have been scrutinized for the over-consumption of alcohol during hazing rituals and the heavy drinking of students at frat-house parties resulting in deaths from injury, alcohol poisoning, and drunk driving.
While universities respond with press releases or even student or fraternity suspension, the NIC is addressing the issue head-on with their new policy.
The policy prohibits alcohol with an ABV of 15% or higher to be present in any chapter facility or event unless it is being sold by a licensed third party. And while adults 21 years or older will not be exempt from this policy, beer, wine, and malt beverages with an ABV below 15% will still be permitted.
Greek organizations around the country are also responding by putting additional educational and safety efforts in place and some are even implementing the policy immediately.
Judson Horras, President and CEO of the NIC, stated, “At their core, fraternities are about brotherhood, personal development, and providing a community of support. Alcohol abuse and its serious consequences endanger this very purpose. This action shows fraternities’ clear commitment and leadership to further their focus on the safety of members.”
A Step in the Right Direction
According to the NIC, nearly all over-consumption and hazing deaths in the past two years involved students drinking high-percentage alcoholic beverages. The NIC also estimates that over 90% of students living in fraternity houses are underage. By banning high-percentage alcohol, the NIC is not only taking a step to reduce alcohol-related deaths of college students, but also decrease instances of underage drinking and binge drinking which is all too common on college campuses.
Over 6,100 chapters across 800 college campuses must have a compliance policy in place as of September 1, 2019.