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Page 8 DTH Omnibus
Thursday November 16, 1989
A range of solutions
to a difficult problem
by BRYAN TUCKER
ccording to the official poli
cies in University
book Hallways and Highrises, the
abuse of alcohol is "a serious breach
It's ironic that such "serious
breaches" occur in residence halls
all the time. The solution? Estab
lish someone who can put an end
to all problems with alcohol while
also being a friend in other words,
a Resident Adviser. Unfortunately,
R.A.s do not always stop alcohol
abuse, and they are not always
There seem to be three different
types oi K.v.s.
First are R.A.s
that do not mind
alcohol as long as
it does hot get out of hand. These
are quite rare. Une woman, who
was an Rj. last year and asked not
to be identified, even bought alco
hol for some of her residents. She
believed that the residents would
keep it under control because of
their respect for her. "If they (the
residents) did get in trouble, and I
had to go down, they knew the
position I would be in," she ex
plains. The second type of R.A. is one
who will make sure his or her area
is alcohol-free by doing whatever it
takes, even checking on residents
with no cause. These types of R.A.s
are rare as well.
The most prevalent type of R.A.
is one who will question a resident
if they are sure that alcohol is there.
"I will confront a person with alco
hol if I see it, smell it, or I am sure
that they have had it," says Jeanine
Hasian, an R.A. in Craige.
Resident advisers are thrust into
a difficult position. They must do
their jobs when it comes to alco
hol, but they don't want to be
known as "enforcers" for constantly
goading their residents.
Jennifer Porter, an R.A. in Ke
nan, also enjoys her job. But she
has a difficult time adhering to the
rigid policy because she has a cor
dial relationship with her residents.
She says, "I don't believe in polic
ing my friends, and sometimes that
gets me in trouble." An example of
such "policing would be asking an
underaged resident to open a cooler
or supervising a resident to see that 1
he or she is behaving.
A model R.A. would not only
get rid of all illegal alcohol in the
dorm, but would prevent residents :
from abusing it outside the residence
hall. This would mean confronting
them at places such as parties and
bars, but most RAs feel awkward
not my personal business to get into
other people's business."
Although he admits R.A.s must
sometimes do unpleasant things, Joel
Winful, an R.A. in Alexander, likes
what he does. "It's a challenge," he
says, "and I have not run into any
big problems yet."
Winful almost did run into a
problem a few days ago. He believes
he saw one of his residents drink
ing outside of the dormitory. Be
fore he had the opportunity to react,
the resident left. This made him
think. "If he had been in the same
place I was, 1 would have done
something about it," Winful de
cided. Dan Camp, an R. A. in Old West,
would confront a resident if his
outside alcohol abuse continued to
be a perpetual
has been an R.A.
for two years and
says, "I know very few R.A.s that
would confront a resident outside
of a dorm."
Camp's own experiences have
influenced his views as an R.A. He
says, "I have very little tolerance
for people who are out of control.
Being drunk is not an excuse." Jean
ine Hasian agrees. She says that
alcohol is "not a big part of my life
because I've seen where it's ruined
other people's lives. It's a big prob
lem for some people."
Anissa Rogerson, an R.A. in
Morrison, believes alcohol would
not be such a big problem if all
residents treated their R.A.s with
: respect. "They (the residents) were
told by me that I am here to uphold
housing policy. If I have to write
them up, it's not my problem, it's
theirs. A lot of respect goes with
that," says Rogerson. She believes
if an R.A. is consistent in his or her
judgment, the residents know what
to expect and learn to accept it.
An R.A. must be objective, but
it is difficult to be impartial when
interpreting the rules, especially
when they apply to friends.
Porter would like to see "clear
cut guidelines" on what an R.A. is
supposed to do in an awkward situ
ation involving alcohol. She and
other R.A.s believe the problem
would be greatly eased if the rules
were laid down for residents in the
Winful makes sure that he sets a
"time where you can set the tempo
and boundaries when it concerns
alcohol." Many other R.A.s do this
One R.A. says it's important to
make "the consequences of alcohol
known from the beginning." R.A.s
also try to be consistent in judg
ment and establish themselves fa
vorably. Alcohol can be a large or small
spective, but many R.A.S agree it is
the toughest part of their jobs.
a yy- fx - ; j rTj fi i
' v &$ 4 f f f s I i'Sr I
by NANCY PORTLOCK
ji wo weeks ago three Phi Delta
Theta pledges were caught
I streaking behind the Morehead
Planetarium. One of the pledges
had a .27 percent alcohol level, way
above the level considered intoxi
cating by the law. Many people be
lieve that these pledges were being
hazed, and therefore the alcohol in
take had been forced. On the other
hand, there are others, the Phi Delta
Thetas in particular, who said the
streaking was all done in fun. In ei
ther case, the question is the correla
tion between Greek organizations and
their consumption of alcohol.
Are UNC's fraternities and sorori
ties really out of hand when it comes
to alcohol? Or are their members no
different than any other UNC stu
dents who like to drink a few beers
and have a good time? From an
outsider's point of view, it may seem
that brotherhood and sisterhood go
hand and hand with drinking: haz
ing, rush, mixers and all-campus par
ties. There is no question that heavy
drinking is an issue to be connected
with campus Greeks, but to point
them out as the sole culprits in this
offense is unfair.
In almost all campus fraternities,
one could expect drinking to be a
socially accepted pastime. However,
the extent of that drinking, especially
for pledges, varies from one house to
another. Pledges have been known
to consume large amounts of alcohol
in a short period of time on "request,"
or have been taken on pledge rides
to unknown destinations. In most
cases, however, pledges are fore
warned about the pressure to drink
and thus are given the opportunity
to participate or not.
According to Nicholas Butts, a.
Delta Upsilon, alternate means of'
participation are provided for those
who do not drink. "We have a por
tion of pledge semester where mod
erate to heavy drinking is involved,
but it is highly controlled," says Butts.
"In the past, we have had pledges
who have participated, but because
they didn't drink, near beer or but
termilk was substituted."
Many fraternities see alcohol is an
important part of the rush process,
not because brothers want to see who
can drink the most, but because it
creates a social atmosphere. "Alco
hol creates a relaxed environment
for brothers to meet rushees," says
Chi Phi David Fitzsimmons.
"The possibility of ever having vdry
rush" at UNC is ridiculous; it would
break the tradition," says Sigma Chi
pledge Vaughn Moore. "Besides,
potential rushees are given a choice
as to whether they want to drink or
But not all Greeks agree.
Panhellenic Council President Becky
Mustard says that in the near future
"Dean Boulton, Dean Schroeder and
Chancellor Hardin are meeting with
the presidents of all the UNC frater
nities to discuss the dry rush propos
als and policies."
For UNC's sorority members, the
circumstances involving drinking on
campus are somewhat different. Ac
cording to bylaws, most sorority
houses on campus, with the excep
tion of Phi Mu, do not allow alcohol
in their houses and prefer for it to
stay off the premises.
In the past, drinking connected
with sorority hazing had also been
an accepted partof the pledging proc
ess. It has been noted that pledges
have been forced to drink and then
have gone on to perform embarrass-,
ing-stnnts -at fraternity houses. Read
ing from an issue of Playboy or wear
ing a pair of men's underwear was
not uncommon. Again, whether or
not pledges were forced to drink, or
were given a choice not to partici
pate, is a question that can be an
swered by each individual house.
Hazing is against the law, and as
of this year, it can be prosecuted by
the University as well as by the po
lice; expulsion is the consequence
for being caught. Thus, sorority haz
ing was supposed to have been dis
continued on the UNC campus this
year; however, there have been ru
mors of some modified forms of haz
ing having occurred in the past couple
One pledge who will remain name
less said she had to wear men's under
wear, stockings on her head and a
birthday hat before she participated
in a series of drinking games, such as
drinking beer from a dog dish and
eating peanut butter crackers with
her hands behind her back.
"We were all told before we started,
that we weren't being forced to do
anything, that if we chose not to
drink, no one would look down upon
us," she said, "The amount of drink
ing involved was so mild, that it didn't
seem at all like hazing, just like fun."
"In the past, the Big Sis Hunt is
an example of where alcohol is made
available to pledges, but not forced,"
says Alpha Chi Omega Kim Sara.
"We had to do some silly and embar
rassing things in front of fraternities,
but as long as it was kept in modera
tion, all the girls agreed it was fun. It
was a tradition we looked forward to
and not something that should have
been ruled out altogether."
Underage drinking is a controver
sial issue that runs much deeper than
the social habits of fraternities and
sororities on campus. But however
much emphasis the Greeks place on
alcoholthey are only a part of the
drinkiriglnenwork that exists through-'
out this University.