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Risk Management - Hazing & etc. This forum covers Risk Management topics such as: Hazing, Alcohol Abuse/Awareness, Date Rape Awareness, Eating Disorder Prevention, Liability, etc.

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Old 11-21-2002, 10:20 AM
DeltAlum DeltAlum is offline
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Location: Mile High America
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On Liability...and dry houses...The bottom line is the bottom line


When you get past all of the other stuff, the bottom line in this article is what a lot of us have been pointing out for a long time...

Subject: Liability drying out fraternities

The Washington Times
November 20, 2002

Liability drying out fraternities

Jon Ward

Fraternity leaders at the University of Maryland College Park
say they banned drinking in their houses several years ago and have
taken other steps to avoid lawsuits like the one filed Monday by the
family of Daniel Reardon, a pledge who died of alcohol poisoning last
winter because of purported hazing.
The Reardon family filed the $15 million suit against the Phi
Sigma Kappa house and two members for purportedly pressuring underage
students to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, then waiting two
hours before getting medical assistance for their son.
Mr. Reardon, 19, died Feb. 14, a week after he lapsed into an
alcohol-induced coma in the fraternity house after drinking large
amounts of malt liquor and Jim Beam whiskey at the behest of pledge
instructor Brian John McLaughlin, according to the lawsuit.
University administrators notified Phi Sigma Kappa's national
headquarters yesterday that they no longer recognize the fraternity
and "any group of students or organization affiliated" with it and
won't for at least five years.
Fraternity leaders can ask for a review after that time, but
"reinstatement is not assured," said John Zacker, the university's
director of student discipline.
The lawsuit comes eight days after another student, Brandon
James Malstrom, 20, was stabbed to death outside a party in the Old
Town section of College Park, a residential neighborhood that's home
to many of the school's fraternity and sorority houses.
Mr. Malstrom's death has sparked discussion over the safety of
the neighborhood and the need for a College Park police force.
Residents, students and officials are scheduled to discuss such
issues tonight at City Hall and tomorrow night at the Ritchie
Coliseum. The meetings begin at 7 p.m.
But Mr. Reardon's death was the second in a year caused by
alcohol or drug overdoses. In September, junior Alexander Klochkoff
was found dead of a drug overdose on the porch of the Sigma Alpha
Epsilon house. Mr. Klochkoff's death, university spokesman George
Cathcart said, was the first substance-related death of a student
since basketball star Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose in 1986.
Roughly 1,400 college students ages 18 to 24 die each year from
such alcohol-related injuries as car crashes, according to a recent
report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Fraternities in College Park are becoming increasingly cautious,
as members must reconsider their safety, and their national
headquarters must consider the threat of lawsuits stemming from
alcohol abuse and hazing.
Five of the university's 23 registered fraternities have
switched to alcohol-free housing in the past five years, Mr. Cathcart
But the reasons for banning alcohol go beyond liability, said
David L. Westol, executive director of 73-year-old Theta Chi
Mr. Westol said that in 1995 Theta Chi leaders banned hazing
because of continuing problems with irresponsible drinking. In 1998,
he said, they set a five-year goal to remove alcohol in all 42
"We were recruiting guys who saw the frat as nothing more than a
place to hang out and party," Mr. Westol said. "We're a little less
inclined to see the house as party central and more inclined to see
its members more involved in campus, being leaders and productive
members of their community."
About 65 percent of the houses have implemented the policy or
are in the process of doing so. Theta Chi's chapter in College Park
implemented the alcohol ban in the spring of 2001, member Jimmy
Atkinson said. He also said kegs at the fall and spring barbecues
have been replaced by sodas.
"I'm 22 and I cannot drink in my own house," he said. "It's kind
of a hassle, but there's always the bars."
Indeed, "risk management" is now a top priority for fraternities
"It only takes a brief look across college campuses today to
understand that risk management is more important now than ever
before," states the Theta Chi Web site.
The fraternity holds many of its parties at rented clubs and restaurants.
"It's a tough transition to go to a dry house," Mr. Atkinson
said. "But insurance is going to force everybody to go dry."
The above is the opinion of the poster which may or may not be based in known facts and does not necessarily reflect the views of Delta Tau Delta or Greek Chat -- but it might.
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:02 AM
KappaKittyCat KappaKittyCat is offline
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Brother- and Sisterhood is not about alcohol! Social lubricant though it may be, I really get irritated when people assume that alcohol is the only way to have fun. What would our founders think?
History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
Mark Twain
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Old 11-24-2002, 02:02 AM
OnePlus69Is70 OnePlus69Is70 is offline
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Since most national fraternities were founded when beer was a breakfast drink, I'd say they'd not really understand the question.
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Old 11-24-2002, 04:53 AM
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I have no doubts that Everyone in a fraternity has at one point had Guiness for Breakfast! God, the first GLO (Phi Beta Kappa) was started in a Bar!!!

But we all MUST understand why it is increasingly important that we keep a handle on drinking amongst GLO's these days. We have a bad rap in a media which is swinging a little too far left for some peoples comfort zone. this comming from a democrat. We don't wanna tarnish it any more.

The other thing we as greeks have to keep in mind the recent affinity among the proletariat to sue the hell out of anything, and the bigger the better. Fraternities being the epitome of an american institution are a coveted prize for lawyers.
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Old 11-24-2002, 09:54 PM
crystalline crystalline is offline
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Posts: 376
On my campus there is a definite double standard when it comes to housing and alcohol. The fraternities can have enough to supply the whole town (which I don't think is necessarily bad, as long as they are responsible), but sororities are dry. I understand it basically comes down to what Nationals says, but I've heard worse things from fraternities having alcohol around than sororities. It just seems to me that it should be the same standard for each. Being men doesn't mean they're more responsible with their alcohol consumption. Just my two cents.
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Old 11-24-2002, 10:23 PM
DeltAlum DeltAlum is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Mile High America
Posts: 17,103
No. What it means is that sororities are a whole lot smarter about this than fraternities.

Just a couple of quick facts. Fraternity liability insurance (which is what this thread is really about) is much higher than sororities. In addition, fraternity houses tend to be much more the worse for wear than sorority houses. Part of that is that men probably don't care as much, but a large part is damage due to parties and/or alcohol consumption on the premisis.

Finally, what hadn't really occurred to me but was brought up in a professional risk management newsletter is this:

Guess who causes a fairly high percent of damage (and thus insurance claims) at fraternity properties? Sorority women who have been invited to parties.

I don't like the idea of dry housing, but it is probably absolutely inevitable if fraternities are to survive.
The above is the opinion of the poster which may or may not be based in known facts and does not necessarily reflect the views of Delta Tau Delta or Greek Chat -- but it might.
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Old 11-24-2002, 10:27 PM
crystalline crystalline is offline
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Valid point.
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