SIUE is home to four Greek life councils — the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council and United Greek Council. Each group of organizations promotes different values and causes; however, organizations in various councils express similar policies regarding drugs and alcohol.
Kappa Sigma (IFC)
Kappa Sigma President Alec Hageman, a junior finance major from Jacksonville, Illinois, said his fraternity has several rules regarding drugs and alcohol. These include prohibiting active members from consuming any drugs or alcohol during recruitment or when wearing their fraternity letters, even after they turn 21.
According to Hageman, the fraternity enforces these rules primarily by monitoring the social media accounts of individuals associated with the organization.
“We do have people who are monitoring all social medias of our potential new members, our active members and our alumni,” Hageman said. “If we decide something is not allowed, then we’ll basically just reach out to that person and say, ‘Hey, man, this doesn’t kind of coincide with our rules and regulations. Could you please take the picture down and make sure not to post anything like that again?’”
Hageman said there are multiple reasons having these policies in place and enforcing them is important, namely to accurately present the organization to potential new members.
“We make sure that the [new members] coming in are joining us for the people that we are, not the people that these substances make us,” Hageman said.
Another reason these policies are important is because of the negative portrayals of Greek life organizations in movies and TV shows, according to Hageman.
“Obviously, the media portrays fraternity and sorority life as not what it is, especially here on campus,” Hageman said. “So, we want to make sure we uphold a good reputation of young men and women who are just trying to do good in the community and help out in any ways that we can.”
Alpha Xi Delta (PHC)
Alpha Xi Delta Chapter Life Vice President Ally Smith, a junior social work major from Decatur, Illinois, said her sorority has similar alcohol policies as Kappa Sigma. With the legalization of marijuana, Smith said her sorority’s policies regarding weed were decided by the organization’s national office.
“When it came to discussing what to do about weed within our sorority, it was actually a national’s decision,” Smith said. “Within our national bylaws, we have to follow federal laws on things such as drugs and alcohol, so nothing has really changed for us within our organization when it comes to dealing with policies.”
Smith also described a similar monitoring and enforcement process to ensure drug and alcohol policies are followed.
“Policies are enforced by rereading them every semester at the beginning and instilling in our members that when they joined, we all agreed to these policies,” Smith said. “And these are more closely monitored by our executive board. When instances happen, the executive board reaches out, if they comply about it, that’s really about it. If they don’t comply with our reaching out, then they get sent to our honor board.”
Like Hageman, Smith listed a number of reasons these policies are enforced, including safety, the organization’s reputation and being able to maintain a presence at SIUE.
“I think that it is important to have these policies to ensure the safety of our members and others around us,” Smith said. “It’s also important to uphold the standards and regulations that our organizations and SIUE hold us accountable to, so these policies help all of Greek life stay organizations on campus. They also help us to promote Greek unity throughout our campus.”
Sigma Gamma Rho (NPHC)
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority President Au’Reon Hopkins, a senior psychology major from Chicago, said her sorority also rules about what kinds of events their organization can advertise, in addition to policies similar to the ones described by Hageman and Smith.
“We are not allowed to have alcohol at any of our events,” Hopkins said. “If it has anything to do with the sorority, if our name is on it, we can’t have alcohol at all, and same with drugs. It’s no tolerance.”
Hopkins said this policy also applies to events co-hosted by another organization, which cannot be associated with Sigma Gamma Rho at all.
Like Smith, Hopkins said these policies are in place in part to protect the chapter from receiving disciplinary action from the university or the sorority’s national office.
“Anything [the sorority posts] that breaks any rules, we could get in trouble,” Hopkins said. “We could get privileges taken away. If it’s something really serious, we probably wouldn’t even be active on campus for a short period of time, depending on what it is.”
Hopkins, like both Hageman and Smith, said her organization wanted to maintain a positive reputation, despite the stereotypes people often hear about Greek life.
“One thing that we’re really strong on is self-image and just having a positive image on campus and how people perceive us,” Hopkins said. “It’s a big thing because with sorority and fraternity life, there’s already some negative connotation, and if we’re posting those types of things, people are looking at us like ‘What are their values?’ And that’s not what we want, we don’t want any negative attention.”
For more information about Greek life organizations at SIUE and their policies, visit the Kimmel Student Involvement Center or their website.