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SEMPer Ad Absurdum

IMG_0105.JPGAs the Homecoming revelry fades, lucky students and alumni may find themselves strolling across a campus glowing in autumnal splendor. How moving it is, in the crisp fall air, to see the remnants of just one night’s fraternal festivities displayed on the roadside. Pictured are 20 large plastic trash bags filled with used cups and empty cans of Keystone Light in front of Tri-Kap.

In a College working on both alcohol reform and sustainability measures, nothing makes less sense than banning kegs and enforcing a maze of Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP) regulations for Greek social events. The tons of unrecycled cans and cups are an unsightly mess on the back lawns of fraternities, and they take an unnecessary toll on trash removal services and the environment. Not to mention students’ pocketbooks and taste buds! A misguided keg policy is just one cog in a large system of social engineering at the College, a policy more preoccupied with image than substance.

Take a recent Greek social event I attended, a “Tails” event between a fraternity and sorority on campus. These are common, taking place every weekend at the College. “Tails” offer a relaxed social atmosphere for two Greek organizations’ members to chat over drinks. Two S&S officers were on hand at the beginning of the event to “regulate” students’ social interaction. That included reprimanding me (a 21+ student) for attempting to pour myself a Rum & Coke. After being accosted for self-serving, then forced to throw the drink in the trash can in front of the officers, I stood to the side of the room to watch our crime fighters in action.

S&S at sigma delt edit.JPG S&S asked more questions, inspected a few more bottles of alcohol, and made sure everything was in accordance with the extremely detailed rules of the SEMP code. The officers designated one sister as “the official server” for the evening. Confident that they had sufficiently protected us from ourselves, S&S departed the premises. And as soon as they did, our server faded into the background and students poured themselves their own drinks in accordance with what they wanted. A good time was had by all.

Joe Asch adds: The only thing more foolish than an expensive alcohol policy is one that is expensive and entirely ineffective. Students routinely ignore the detailed SEMP limits on the amount of alcohol allowed to be served at parties. They are clever at getting around the rules — which is one of the reasons that they were admitted to the College.


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