FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) implemented a standard that bans alcohol, with an alcohol by volume greater than 15%, from fraternity events.
According to NIC, the decision was voted on at a meeting in August. NIC said in a near-unanimous vote of its 66 member fraternities, the Conference determined that each organization will implement the new Standard by Sept. 1, 2019, across their more than 6,100 chapters on 800 campuses.
Michael Hahn, who is in a fraternity at Fresno State and the Recruitment Chair for the Interfraternity Council, believes this will change Greek Life on campus for the better.
"I think it was a very smart decision as well. Is it should bring us back to 'why are you joining an organization?'"
He went on to say, "I think the memories we are going to get now, and we have been getting in the last couple years are going to be more focused on serving the community, volunteering."
Hahn added this policy change was not a total shock because earlier this year many of the fraternities had adopted this standard.
Breanne Scogin, who is the Senior Program Coordinator for the Center for Leadership, said there are nine NIC-member fraternities on campus and four of them have already banned hard-alcohol from their events.
According to the new standard, the other five will have to adopt this policy by next year.
"I hope by formalizing a ban on hard alcohol in these facilities really helps augment the development of our students in these organizations," she explained.
While there have been several cases of alcohol-fueled parties and incidents across the nation, Scogin does not believe one incident sparked this ban. She mentioned alcohol abuse had been a conversation for years.
Just last year more than 400 new sorority and fraternity members participated in the New Member Education Program. It covers topics from hazing to alcohol abuse and even sexual assault.
Scogin mentioned since then they've seen an uptick in hazing reports resulting in conduct as well as calls for help for intoxicated members.
"I think in the national fraternal landscape we are trying to make sure we go back to our roots, trying to remember, 'why these organizations started?' They were started to better our students, right? They were started to build better men and women and reminding our students of that and kind of taking that social aspect out of it a little bit and remembering where our roots came from and the purpose of our organizations," she said.
As for enforcement of this new policy, Hahn explained most chapters have programs in place to help with enforcing alcohol abuse. He added organizations do have procedures for punishment as well.
NIC mentioned hard alcohol could be served at chapter events if it is done through a third party licensed vendor.
Fresno State's fraternity recruitment is in a couple of weeks.
Fraternity association bans hard-alcohol from fraternity events