NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Party time is over at Rutgers University.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the university has banned fraternity and sorority house parties for the rest of the spring semester. The ban follows several alcohol-related problems this school year, including the death of a student.
But some students said it could only make things worse.
“I think it’s just a little unfair, to be honest, to the people that actually do the right thing,” said Rutgers senior Anthony Nicastro.
The probation was decided last week but announced by the university Monday.
“Rutgers takes seriously its commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe campus environment,” the university said in a statement.
Under the ban, the university’s 86 recognized fraternities and sororities will be allowed to hold spring formals and other events where third-party vendors serve alcohol.
“You sign up to be part of this organization so that you can go and hang out with other organizations – and your sisters and brothers — so it’s definitely sad that you can’t do that,” said student Jackie Burzichelli of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.
“While a lot of us don’t agree, now we’re looking more proactively towards bettering our community than kind of being mad or upset about it,” added junior Alessandro Bonet.
The university said the move comes “in light of a number of alcohol-related incidents this year involving Greek organizations.” Last September, sophomore Caitlyn Kovacks, 19, died after attending a party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity — her death was alcohol related.
And just last month, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity was shut down for underage drinking.
Nicastro said fraternity parties can “definitely” get out of hand.
“But there are the large percentage of frats on campus that don’t let it get out of hand,” he said.
“I think the ban’s a little bit unnecessary,” added junior Chris Berenato. “I do believe it is a good reflection on some of the past events that have been occurring.”
The university said it is taking this step out of “caution and concern.” But some Greeks – including Jeremy Deane, a member of the Gamma Sigma fraternity — think the ban will do more harm than good.
“It’s a dangerous step for Rutgers, because that doesn’t mean parties are going to stop happening. It means they’re going to stop happening in their lettered houses,” Deane said. “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.”
CBS2 asked Rutgers how the ban would be enforced, and what the punishment would be for those who disobey it.
The fraternities and sororities are still allowed to host end-of-the-year formals and other events where a licensed third-party vendor is used to serve alcohol. The ban is only in place for the rest of the semester, so students wonder what this means for the next school year.
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