UCLA Fraternities Ban Alcohol at In-House Events
The school’s Interfraternity Council unanimously voted for the ban just days after a student, who is a fraternity member, was arrested for sexual assault.
On Tuesday, the UCLA Interfraternity Council unanimously voted to place a self-proposed indefinite ban on in-house fraternity events involving alcohol.
“The IFC is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of those present at IFC chapter activities,” says a statement from the IFC, which includes 22 fraternities on the Los Angeles campus.
University officials also support the ban, calling it a “step in the right direction to strengthen the safety within the community.”
The decision to enact the ban came after an alleged sexual assault on Saturday night. Benjamin Orr, a 21-year-old UCLA student, was arrested and charged with intent to commit rape and oral copulation, reports ABC 7. He was transferred to the Los Angeles County jail before being released on $100,000 bail.
Orr was the president of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity during the 2016-2017 school year and is expected to appear in court on February 5.
IFC President Noah Mayer says the decision was made without pressure from UCLA administration and without knowledge that Orr was arrested and charged with the alleged assault.
The editorial board at the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student-run newspaper, published an article supporting the ban.
“Fraternity parties are a fixture of college life. And sexual violence is a fixture of fraternity parties,” opens the article.
The board says fraternity parties involving alcohol are “wholly unnecessary” to fraternity missions and are already banned in sorority houses across campus.
“For nearly a century, Greek life at UCLA has partied, sometimes at the expense of students’ safety. It’s about time IFC realizes fraternity house parties are better at perpetuating a sexually corrosive environment than enriching students’ college experiences,” closes the article.
From 2015 to 2016, the number of reported rapes more than doubled. In 2016, UCLA police received reports of 31 rapes and 11 additional sexual assaults, half of which occurred off campus, reports NBC Los Angeles. The majority of the alleged assaults occurred in on-campus student housing. It is unclear how many involved fraternity properties, events or members.
UCLA is not the first school to put a ban on fraternities or fraternity activities following proven or alleged misconduct by its members. Other universities that have taken steps to reduce the presence of Greek life on campus include Penn State, Louisiana State, Florida State, Texas State, Ohio State, the University of Michigan and the University of Idaho.
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