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National UpdateHard Alcohol Banned by the NIC

Pi Kappa Alpha International has announced that hard alcohol will be banned from chapter houses and fraternity events starting September 1, 2019.

As a member of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), this complies with a resolution passed by the NIC. The NIC is a trade association representing 66 inter/national fraternities, with more than 6100 chapters on 800 campuses.

Each member of the NIC is expected to develop its own policy to be in effect on September 1, 2019, that incorporates the directive of the NIC banning hard alcohol from all common areas of the Chapter House and fraternity events. Certain exceptions do apply. The ban applies to any liquors that have an ABV (alcohol by volume) of more than 15%. Presumably, this would allow beer and wine. In addition, hard alcohol is permitted if served by a “licensed third-party vendor."

The NIC notes that this is a minimum expectation. Individual fraternities and each of their chapters, and the colleges and universities, may adopt more restrictive policies to which the students and chapters must comply. On Penn’s campus, 24 of the 27 university recognized fraternities are members of the NIC.

Joseph Churilla, an executive board member of our undergraduate chapter at Penn, commented on the rules currently in force at Penn, stating, ”The standard rules allow our chapter to have and serve beer, wine, and hard liquor to those brothers and guests of age in our house during registered social events. Our chapter is prohibited from having kegs and/or playing drinking games that encourage binge drinking. Although many brothers are disappointed with the NIC’s new regulation that would ban liquor from our chapter house as of Sept. 2019, we are understanding and committed to following all regulations placed upon our chapter.”  

At Penn, Jazmyn Pulley, Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, has acknowledged Penn is aware of the NIC resolution, but did not comment on what measures Penn will institute to regulate and/or ascertain compliance. Pulley sent an email statement to the Daily Pennsylvanian that Penn representatives “…look forward to talking with the NIC, Penn’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapters, and Greek alumni about the impact and implementation of this new national expectation.”

When questioned regarding his reaction to this new development, Morty Cohen, Beta Pi ’65, said, “They can banish illegal drugs, hard alcohol, hazing, and sexual misconduct, but they better not touch my pinochle that I regard as a harmless vice.”