Alcohol banned at Grand Valley fraternity, sorority events

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ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Leaders at Grand Valley State University in Allendale are temporarily banning alcohol at all fraternity and sorority events.

The move was made following several alcohol-related problems. Nine fraternity or sorority chapters have been sanctioned or suspended over the past five years.

In March of 2017, Delta Upsilon shut down its GVSU chapter after repeated drug and alcohol violations. Months later, GVSU booted Sigma Phi Epsilon from campus for drinking and hazing offense.

The final blow came when a student was hospitalized after he drank too much.

“What we have noticed is a frequency of events that include alcohol that have resulted in sanctions, probation or charter revocation on the part of the national organization,” Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Loren Rullman said. “We have decided to take pause and try to get together with our students, faculty and staff to talk about what we can do to prevent further issues like this and improve the community.”

A task force of students, faculty and staff will be formed to examine issues within and expectations among fraternities and sororities. The ban is in effect until further notice.

Mikaela Padgen, a sorority member and president of the Greek Life Board, will be part of the task force. She paused when asked if the ban made by university leaders was the right decision.

“I think that something needed to be done,” Padgen said.

Pagden said the Greek community is split on the move. She said some are embracing the decision, but others are frustrated by a lack of communication from university leaders.

24 Hour News 8 stopped by several fraternities and sororities on campus, but they either wouldn’t answer the door or wouldn’t comment on the ban.

“A lot of our members are confused on why our administration is making a decision regarding something they have not directly seen,” Padgen said. “Which is a lot of the lack of communication that I hope the task force will bring up to par.”

Rullman also told 24 Hour News 8 that the university will not be checking parties for alcohol, but hope the fraternities and sororities will police themselves.

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