Upcoming policy change will require students to register all parties

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Upcoming policy change will require students to register all parties

The Lafayette
By Aliana Mediratta, Staff Writer
March 11, 2022

LAFAYETTE COLLEGE, PA — Starting next fall, any group prepping to throw a party will have to add filling out a party registration form to their to-do list.

Individuals and organizations planning on hosting an event with alcohol and 20 or more attendees will be required to register with Public Safety. Dean of Students Brian Samble wrote in an email that policies for Greek Life will not be changing, given that fraternities and sororities are already required to register any events they may have, including parties, spinners and receptions. Events that have alcohol brought by party guests will not be required to register.

While Greek Life is currently required to register all of their events with the school, Hank Scheffler, Student Government Director of Greek Life and member of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), said that it would be unrealistic to assume that all Greek organizations do.

Public Safety will not be in charge of registering events but will be informed of large events so that officers can distinguish the low-risk events versus the more underground activities that have higher risks.

In addition, all juniors will now be completing eTIPS training, a module that “provides education around social-host liability, identifying lifelines, and knowledge around alcohol and risk reduction strategies,” according to Samble.

Samble presented the policy at a Student Government general assembly meeting on Thursday, March 3 and wrote that the group expressed positive reactions to increased alcohol education on campus.

Scheffler contradicted this and said that reactions were mixed among the group.

“Some students were definitely for having events register,” he said. “But some people were a little more cautious about interactions with Public Safety and necessarily what that meant for the on-campus or off-campus environment.”

The motivation behind the policy, Samble wrote, came from a desire for increased safety during parties and better alcohol awareness.

“The status quo of off-the-books social gatherings with alcohol on a large scale is the actual danger,” Samble wrote. “Lack of awareness about noise late into the night is also less than desirable for the non-students in the neighborhood.”

Furthermore, Samble explained that all other amnesty policies will remain in effect and couple with the new safety measures.

“The College is offering an additional, more proactive approach to share in education and a process to communicate about activities and how to make them more safe; rather than create tension,” Samble wrote. “I see this as a chance for a positive relationship through transparent communication about activities that we know to occur.”

While Samble emphasized that the focus of the policy boils down to prevention and increased communication between students and administration, some students have concerns about transparency and implementation.

“I think that there’s a general fear [of P-Safe], especially students of color don’t have a good relationship,” Anna Boggess ’23 said.

“I don’t think P-Safe has actively worked towards creating a safe relationship,” she continued. “If people are told to register their party with P-safe, that puts so much more fear in students, like will it get busted? I see what they’re trying to do, that they’re aware the issue is happening, but it’s skipping a step with students trusting P-safe.”

In order to have a better rollout, Boggess emphasized the importance of establishing an open line of communication where students of color can voice their concerns.

Nick Tufano ’23, current DKE President, said that he worries about the rights that the college has to regulate off-campus housing.

“I do take some issue to the registration of like off-campus events,” Tufano said. “I’m also kind of worried about how much right the college has to infringe on the privacy of students getting [together] privately off campus [in housing] that is not affiliated with the college…It sounds to me like it’s an opportunity for the college to become more involved in that space.”

While Tufano has some concerns about logistics and implementation, he believes that both Samble and Greek Life want students to have successful social lives on and off-campus while having a priority for safety.

Noah Wilk ’23, a member of DKE, said that formulating an opinion without complete clarity would be difficult.

“It would all depend on what ‘register’ means before any organization would move forward,” Wilk said. “What I think would cause a lot of resentment is if it was sprung on us without consulting the organizations that would have to register…my main worry is that the administration is unclear in communicating.”

Tyler Osipower ’24, current Delta Tau Delta President, further acknowledged that organizations have not been consulted on this change.

“Any policy changes… I wasn’t notified of anything. It’s not really anything any of us have been made aware of yet,” Osipower said.

Scheffler said that he ultimately believes the policy is a great idea.

“Lafayette is pretty much the only liberal arts sized school in Pennsylvania that doesn’t have this kind of apparatus,” he said. “It’s pretty much a free-for-all off-campus.”

Scheffler added that students may take a while to warm up to the idea but that the long-term impacts will be a net positive.

“​​I don’t think students will take full advantage of it until maybe all of us that party now graduate…but I think in five years, it’ll be something the school is very proud of,” Scheffler said. “I think people are worried that there’s gonna be a large change, I don’t think there will be. I just think it’s a way to party safer.”

When contacted for comment, seven out of the nine remaining Greek organizations declined; Alpha Phi sorority, Chi Phi fraternity and Zeta Psi fraternity did not respond.