NORFOLK, Va. — Kegs of beer and pre-made mixes of liquor and punch will be banned from fraternity parties at the University of Virginia under proposed new rules aimed at stamping out sexual assault on campus.
Greek organizations have until Jan. 16 to sign the agreement as a condition to lifting a temporary ban on social activities by fraternities and sororities at the Charlottesville campus.
The ban followed a Rolling Stone magazine report on an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house in 2012. The magazine has since apologized for what it calls discrepancies in details of the account.
The new rules were authorized by University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan on Tuesday and agreed to by the Inter-Fraternity Council, which is comprised of members of each fraternity on campus.
“We seek to achieve a safe environment at fraternity events by addressing high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct, and unhealthy power structures. These changes are not comprehensive — nor do they claim to be. Instead, we submit these reforms as the next step in the IFC’s commitment to guaranteeing a baseline of safety for fraternity members and our guests,” the IFC said in an addendum to the agreement.
Each fraternity and sorority must have an agreement with the university in order to participate in official university events; failure to sign the agreement would put the relationship with the university in jeopardy.
It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday exactly how the agreements would be enforced. Fraternity houses at the university are privately owned and the new rules make no mention of independent or university-provided monitors.
There is also no mention of underage drinking or how to prevent it. Sullivan has previously said about half of the university’s entering class already drinks when they arrive on campus.
Sullivan said in a statement that the changes will enhance the safety of fraternity and sorority members, as well as guests.
Among other things, the new agreements call for requiring at least three sober fraternity brothers at each party to monitor alcohol distribution and the stairways to residential rooms. The person stationed at the stairway to the rooms is also supposed to have keys to each room.
At large parties, a hired security guard will monitor the entrances to fraternity houses and ensure only those on a printed guest list gain access. A fraternity brother will take on that role at smaller functions.
Beer can still be served at fraternity parties, as long as it is unopened in its original can. Wine can also be served as long as it poured visibly at the bar by a sober brother. When there are more guests than brothers at a party, liquor can only be served by a third-party, licensed bartender. At smaller parties, liquor can be brought by individuals and placed at a central bar, which is overseen by a sober brother.
Fraternities also will be required to have bottled water and food available. The spring semester at the university begins Monday.