WRITER: MARTI TIEDEMAN
CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 24, 1999
UIs Delta Upsilon fraternity goes alcohol-free
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa chapter
of Delta Upsilon fraternity will enact a new policy this fall that prohibits
alcohol consumption or possession on its chapter grounds by its members, including
those who are of legal drinking age.
The policy, made without pressure from the chapters
international fraternity or from the UI, makes Delta Upsilon the first UI
Greek organization to make such a decision and is part of the fraternitys
three-year commitment to stay substance-free.
"By making the chapter dry we are showing a commitment
to our pledges, our active members and our alumni that we want to be more
of an academic success on campus," says Brian Kurz, president, UI Delta
Upsilon chapter. "We believe a continued commitment to academics will
help us recruit the type of guys who want more than the social experience
we provide," Kurz says.
As a result of the action, the Delta Upsilon International
Fraternity and the UI Delta Upsilon Alumni Chapter are awarding the campus
chapter with $25,000 to be used to make house improvements, subsidize social
programs, and possibly purchase new furniture and sports equipment. The chapter
will also receive $7,500 from the aforementioned groups for educational purposes.
The UI Greek fraternity system self-imposed a no-alcohol
policy in August 1998 after Phillip Jones, vice president and dean of student
services, declared any fraternity not dry by fall 1999 would not be recognized
by the UI. The UI policy, which takes effect Aug. 8, prohibits minors from
possessing alcohol and prohibits alcohol in a chapter with the exception of
legal-age members bedrooms.
Some Greek organizations national chapters voted
to be substance-free by 2000 or 2001. Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Alpha
Kappa Lambda and Sigma Nu fraternities are among those affected by the change,
says Mary Ellen Gillespie, assistant director of student life.
The difference with Delta Upsilon is that the fraternity
did not decide nationally to move to alcohol-free, but the Iowa undergraduate
chapter decided on its own, Gillespie says.
"It is extremely difficult to lead and create
change, especially when peers and alcohol are involved," Gillespie says.
"Delta Upsilon has the integrity and the leadership to be successful.
I am very proud of them and their ability to model the way for others,"
The chapter will continue to engage in out- of-structure
social events, as well as hosting non-alcoholic events on chapter property,
"The decision to go dry does not affect our status
as a social fraternity. Rather, it puts our social gatherings in places where
the risk would be lessened for all people concerned and allows us to show
a chapter can survive without alcohol on the chapter grounds," Kurz says.