Those partying at Lehigh University fraternities will be doing so without hard liquor from now on.
The Bethlehem university’s Interfraternity Council Executive Board has placed an indefinite ban on spirits being served at any event sponsored by one of its fraternities. The board announced the ban Tuesday in a statement on the university’s official Greek community blog.
The statement says the ban is in response to “the alarmingly high number of alcohol-related transports over the past semester and the numerous alcohol-related incidents at colleges and universities across the country.” It’s intended to create a safer environment for students, the statement says.
The ban extends to all social events, recruitment events and anything related to new member education. Fraternities found violating the ban will face an indefinite suspension of all chapter activities at a minimum.
“Each violation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and chapters may be subject to harsher sanctions including a suspension of recruitment or losing eligibility to take a new member class,” the statement says. “The IFC is taking this very seriously and these sanctions will be strictly enforced.”
Lehigh in the fall semester grappled with a jump in alcohol-related hospitalizations, injuries and arrests. About 80 Lehigh students were cited for underage drinking during the first three weeks of school in September.
Two on-campus sexual assaults were also reported during the fall semester, one of which happened at a fraternity event.
Drinking precipitated deaths last year at other college campuses in Pennsylvania.
A Lafayette College student died in September after falling on a dorm floor. Authorities said he had been drinking in the days prior to the fall.
In February, a Penn State student died two days after falling down steps at a fraternity.
Editor’s Note: My fraternity Phi Kappa Theta’s Alpha chapter is at Lehigh Univerisity.