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Thursday, May 23, 2024

UCF bans alcohol at greek events; similar move unlikely at UF

The University of Central Florida's Greek Council has placed an indefinite ban on alcohol at all events registered through Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The decision follows the death of a UCF student on Aug. 25.

Although the cause of UCF freshman Ann Hefferin's death is still unknown, a 911 call released by UCF police confirms that Hefferin, 18, had been drinking before she died.

UCF spokesman Grant Heston said an unauthorized party at Sigma Chi fraternity house on UCF's campus served alcohol, which goes against university policy.

UCF Interfraternity Council president Adam Brock said, "This was just to re-evaluate the way we are hosting our social events and ensure all of us are following national and university policies."

Brock wrote in an email that UCF's Greek Council, which presides over all 45 fraternities and sororities at the university, voted on the ban Sept 2. Events approved before Sept. 2 will not be affected by the ban.

The ban will be lifted when the Greek community forms a plan for hosting events that is consistent with national and university rules, he said.

Jack Causseaux, associate director of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs at UF, said to his knowledge there has never been such a widespread ban at UF.

Under the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs' event guidelines, no alcohol may be served at any recruitment, intake or new-member events. If alcohol is to be served at an event on campus or in a chapter house, the event must be approved by the office at least 10 business days in advance.

Wristbands are distributed to attendees who are over 21, and additional guidelines dictate how much alcohol can be brought to the event.

Some chapter houses are dry because national guidelines dictate it. This is true for most of the sorority houses and a few fraternity houses at UF, Causseaux said.

Of course, sometimes sororities and fraternities break the rules, "just like with any other student. They're not exempt from what normal college students do," Causseaux said.

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For the 64 fraternities and sororities at UF, there is a Greek Conduct Committee that holds hearings for violations and recommends sanctions to the dean of students, if necessary.

It is possible for a fraternity or sorority, as well as any other student organization, to be suspended for violating rules about alcohol.

Rajiv Asnani, president of UF's Interfraternity Council, said he couldn't comment on UCF's broad ban on drinking because the university's Greek community is different from UF's.

He said IFC is quick to handle violations, but at least since he can remember the council has never considered suspending or banning all fraternities for a single incident.

"I don't see it happening in my term as president," Asnani said.

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