As parties on Del Playa rage on, fueled by beer and the collective sex drives of hundreds of 17- to 23-year-olds, some of UCSB’s greeks lament the loss of their right to booze it up Isla Vista-style in their own homes.
According to new regulations, imposed at the start of Fall Quarter, greek houses can no longer have alcohol at any social event, defined as any gathering of more than 30 people. If greeks want a wet social event, it must be in conjunction with a licensed and insured third-party vendor outside of any greek-affiliated facilities.
It’s a bum rap for UCSB’s greek system, hit hard and fast because a few raucous fraternities and sororities got out of hand over the past few years. The new, sweeping policy prevents those greeks of age from enjoying a large, wet social gathering in their own homes – something every other UCSB student has free rein to do.
Those houses that violate the rules face social probation for a first offense. A second offense results in UCSB disowning the house. No recruitment. No university support for events. The disaffiliated house has little left to do then stick its head between its legs and kiss its ass goodbye.
UCSB created the new regulations due to a rise in the number of sexual assaults and alcohol-related violence within the greek system, as well as the inability of some houses to follow the pre-existing regulations. Previously, the greeks were largely self-regulated and restricted to a bring-your-own-beer policy requiring identification for legal drinkers, hired security and bars manned by licensed booze-slingers.
The policy also punishes those houses that do a great deal of good for the local community and can handle their booze responsibly. Since greeks fall subject to the same county regulations as every other UCSB student living in Isla Vista, it’s unfair to instate further measures upon them because the university wants a slick and easy way to clean up its image.
Extra rules won’t help reduce the number of sexual assaults. While excess booze is often a catalyst for sexual assault, it isn’t responsible for it. Even though the university can control the greek system’s alcohol flow, it infringes on the rights of legal adults. Those vultures still intent on using alcohol as a means to prey upon unsuspecting victims can still do so, regardless of where they are or how many people are around.
UC Berkeley recently moved towards a more reasonable system, similar to the policy previously employed by UCSB. A BYOB system, properly enforced, seems fair for everyone. Greek houses that want to unwind responsibly after contributing to the community can still throw a raging party. Those that can’t handle the rules can go rent a room and take a few hundred friends somewhere else.
Give the greeks a break. They take a lot of flak from UCSB administration and students, much of it deserved. No one, though, should lose his or her right to party.