Sigma Nu houses to ban alcohol
By Joseph C. Scott, Staff Writer
Published on Wednesday, March 26, 1997
All Sigma Nu fraternity houses, including the one on Webster Avenue, will be alcohol-free by the year 2000, a decision made by the national organization in response to increased safety and liability concerns in Greek organizations nationwide.
The alcohol ban is "aimed at a new breed of frat boys more serious about earning a degree than chugging beer," according to the Associated Press. It was prompted in part by two alcohol-related deaths at Frostburg State University in Maryland and the University of New Hampshire.
Dartmouth Sigma Nu President Adam Mirick '99, who does not support the new policy, said his chapter has not yet discussed the ban. He said he thinks the alcohol ban would infringe on the rights of members older 21..
Dartmouth's chapter has a "good record" of safety and risk management, even with alcohol, so there is no need to ban it, he said. He said he hopes the national will reconsider the policy.
Dartmouth's Sigma Nu is already exempt from the national fraternity policy restricting kegs in houses, because the College's policy permits kegs, Mirick said. Members will not immediately discuss implementing the policy, because it will not be enforced until 2000.
The decision by Sigma Nu and one other national fraternity makes them the first in the nation to ban alcohol. Many national sororities already have policies prohibiting alcohol in their houses. All three national sororities at Dartmouth, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma and Kappa Kappa Gamma, ban alcohol.
One way Dartmouth's Sigma Nu chapter could avoid following national policies is by seceding. Dartmouth's Sigma Nu broke away from the national in the 1960s to become Sigma Nu Delta "in response to racial barriers to membership," Mirick wrote in an e-mail message.
The chapter rejoined the national in 1985 because members "were impressed by the newfound tolerance of the national as well as the resources that they could offer us and the national brotherhood," Mirick wrote.
National Intrafraternity Council Executive Vice President Jonathan Brant said he "expects most of the 63 national fraternities to join the trend" set by the two fraternities, according to the Associated Press.
Fraternities' banning alcohol might meet an icy reception at Dartmouth. Psi Upsilon fraternity President Adrian Durbin '98 said his chapter would "go local" before submitting to an alcohol ban.