New pilot program to be tested after Greek alcohol suspension - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New pilot program to be tested after alcohol suspension in Greek life

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The University of Iowa will once again allow formals to happen within the Greek community, but only for a limited time and with a strict list of rules.

This comes after tragedy struck during out-of-town formals, which led to a suspension of events with alcohol and out-of-town formals.

Last spring, freshman Kamil Jackowski died while on a formal trip at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Jackowski was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

The spring before that, then-junior Mackenzie Wollenzien fell from a two-story balcony and crushed her spinal cord. The injury left her paralyzed from the chest down.

After Jackowski's death, the student governance groups on campus put the temporary suspension in place.

"They felt that they wanted to create a stop in a sense, and a chance for the group to come together and think about how they wanted to truly change the culture around high-risk drinking," University of Iowa Associate Vice-President of Student Life, Sarah Hansen, said.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, fraternities and sororities will, once again, have the opportunity to throw a formal or date-party event under a new pilot program created by the students and the UI Division of Student Life. The terms of the pilot comes with a strict set of rules that looks to reduce a harmful drinking culture.

"The levers that you can pull are around limiting access, limiting the type of alcohol, limiting the amount of time.  So we tried to, as a group, look at all the levers we can pull that would increase safety and, when it was reasonable, tried to make some guidelines around those areas," Hansen said.

Hansen said the guidelines set forth under the pilot would offer an additional way to govern the Greek community, something she said often happens within the chapter which can lead to a high-risk culture.

In order to prevent underage drinking, chapters would have to provide a guest list with birth dates and student ID numbers. A third-party security team would then have to be hired to check ID's against the guest list.  And no hard liquor would be available; only beer, wine and hard cider. Also, a limit of five drinks for each guest would also be put into place for the three-hour event, as well as a limit of just two drinks per hour. Of-age guests will be given a wristband with five pull-off tabs in order to keep track of individual drink servings.

There would also have to be sober monitor from the chapters for every 20 guests. All monitors have to undergo required sober monitor training.

Security officers with the University of Iowa Police Department would also conduct walk-throughs throughout the event to check that the rules are being followed.

Only Greek chapters that are in compliance and good standing with the university can take part in the pilot. Currently, that would mean 26 of the 36 can.

Following the events, members are required to fill out a survey about the pilot, which will factor into an overall results report that will go to Vice President for Student Life, Melissa Shivers. Shivers will then be tasked with the next steps that will be taken.

Until then, the current suspension will stay in effect as normal, with the exception of taking part in the pilot program for one day.

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