Local fraternities impacted by national organization's ban on hard alcohol

Local fraternities impacted by national organization's ban on hard alcohol
Local fraternities impacted by national organization's ban on hard alcohol
Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 13:57:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A major decision about Greek life across the country will impact several fraternities in our area.

The North American Interfraternity Conference or NIC, is banning hard alcohol at chapter facilities and events. 

At least 25 fraternity chapters in North Florida and South Georgia belong to the NIC.

Anything more than 15 percent alcohol by volume won't be allowed, unless it's served by a licensed third-party vendor. 

The NIC voted on this last week. The conference has 14 chapters at Florida State, 7 at Valdosta State, and 4 at FAMU.

The hard alcohol ban announcement comes 10 months after FSU fraternity pledge Andrew Coffey died of alcohol poisoning.

The 20-year-old drank a whole bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon, which falls into the hard alcohol category.

We spoke to the attorney representing the Coffey family. He said the ban is long overdue. 

"If you knew the parents of Andrew Coffey like I do, you'd be heartbroken, and the families of these young people who died because of alcohol abuse at fraternities would do anything to have their sons back," said David Bianchi. "And, unfortunately, not enough has been done to stop it, but hopefully, this will be a step in the right direction." 

The NIC says each member fraternity needs to "adopt and implement a policy" by September 1 of next year.

This impacts more than 6,100 chapters on 800 campuses.   

The 14 FSU fraternities that belong to the NIC are: 

  • Alpha Delta Phi
  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Beta Theta Pi
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Tau Delta
  • Kappa Alpha
  • Phi Gamma Delta
  • Phi Kappa Psi
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Sigma Pi
  • Theta Chi

Florida State tells us its fraternities already have this policy in place as part of the "new normal" the university introduced last spring.

In a statement released to WTXL, Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Hecht said, "I do appreciate the work of the NIC to encourage healthy behaviors, and I do think this is a step forward." 

The seven VSU fraternities that belong to the NIC are: 

  • Delta Chi
  • Kappa Alpha
  • Phi Sigma Kappa
  • Pi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Nu 

Valdosta State sent us this statement: 

"This resolution is a call to action for national organizations that belong to the NIC to comply by September 1, 2019. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life will implement a policy in our risk management protocol, in addition to our current policies, that is in accordance with this resolution before September 2019. These policies apply to all organizations recognized by our office."  

The four FAMU fraternities that belong to the NIC are: 

  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Iota Phi Theta
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Phi Beta Sigma

We've also reached out to FAMU and are waiting to hear back.