Alcohol training now a requirement to go Greek
Alcohol and social responsibility training (ASRT) is taking place on Monday, September 7 for all students interested in joining the Greek community.
By Zoe Shancer, News editor
September 7, 2015
For the first time, participation in alcohol and social responsibility training (ASRT) will be an eligibility requirement for first-years, upperclassmen or transfer students who are considering membership in a fraternity or sorority. The training was formerly held after recruitment in January and was only for new members of the Greek community.
The training will take place on Monday, Sept. 7 in the Student Life Center, and will serve partly as a follow up to elements of the online Alcohol Edu training that first-years completed over the summer, according to Director of Greek Life Kristin Torrey.
“Students participate in an activity where they pour water from a liquor bottle into a red solo cup pretending like they were going out,” Torrey said. “… to understand what is a standard size drink.”
According to Torrey, part of the program will address Vanderbilt policy and expectations in regard to alcohol as well as what to expect when attending an Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternity party, or any other location where alcohol may be present, such as in a bar or residence hall.
“There is an IFC leader in each room from the judicial team that explains what should be happening when someone attends an IFC fraternity party,” Torrey said. “So what is the role of party patrol? How does the alcohol policy work?”
IFC President Kevin Groll believes that having student leaders at the ASRT sessions is beneficial not only for providing information, but also for relating to the student attendees.
“It kind of humanizes the presentation a bit,” Groll said. “We kind of get beat over the head by things that we have to do, so it’s good to have students facilitating things because it gives it a more genuine and authentic presentation style.”
The program was moved to the beginning of the school year because, according to Torrey, the beginning of the academic year is the most dangerous time for students related to alcohol issues and sexual assault.
“This allows us to be a part of a solution about providing students more insight, information and opportunities to think and engage with other students about what are the choices that they might make to help everyone be more safe,” Torrey said.
Torrey also received feedback from students last year saying that while the information at training was helpful, it would have been more helpful had they gotten the information in the first couple weeks of school, rather than after an entire semester had passed.
Further, Torrey hopes that having the training at this time of the year will allow Greek Life to provide helpful information to more people.
“There might be someone who attends this and is thinking ‘I might attend a fraternity party, but I don’t know whether I’m interested in joining (Greek Life) or not,’” Torrey said. “But it will at least help to provide them some greater context about how they can make safer choices just as a college student.”
Some adjustments were made to the training given that the audience will be prospective members of the Greek community, rather than new members.
“We are thinking just a little bit differently about the curriculum to be more inclusive of many experiences the students might have related to alcohol, and not just specifically IFC fraternity parties,” Torrey said.
Groll believes this training is vital in helping students who are new to the community to think about how they will navigate the social scene at Vanderbilt.
“I personally wish that everyone would do (the training), whether or not you make the decision to drink,” Groll said. “It’s just good knowledge. Even if you choose not to drink, but you understand the signs of someone who drank too much or is on something, you can help a friend out.”