Now under IFC control, greek self-policing system launches

Arkeo volunteers will inspect parties to make sure they comply with IFC rules.

Interfraternity Council President Mike Danley explains Arkeo’s self-policing procedures with greek volunteers during a training meeting Saturday at Folwell Hall. A portion of the 40-member group is scheduled to start patrolling fraternity events this weekend.

Interfraternity Council President Mike Danley explains Arkeo’s self-policing procedures with greek volunteers during a training meeting Saturday at Folwell Hall. A portion of the 40-member group is scheduled to start patrolling fraternity events this weekend.

Aaron DuBois

 

After a few rocky starts, Arkeo, the greek party self-policing program, is launching this weekend.

About 40 University of Minnesota fraternity members attended a training session Saturday to learn how to monitor parties.

Arkeo was first implemented last spring after reports of alleged sexual assaults at fraternities. The program was grounded when a change in leadership led to a breakdown in communication, said Mike Danley, president of the Interfraternity Council.

Greek leadership is confident Arkeo will work this time, with the IFC taking control of the program.

“In the past, Arkeo was not closely connected with the IFC,” said Matt Levine, Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life program director.

“Now, given the current structure, the IFC and Arkeo have essentially teamed up, creating an environment that will foster a much more successful application of Arkeo,” he added.

Danley said the major goal of Arkeo is to create a safe environment where sexual assaults can’t happen.

“It’s not that we don’t want big parties –– we just want them to be safe,” Danley said.

New policies, new structure

The University’s greek community is the last among Big Ten schools to adopt a program like Arkeo.

The program, which is volunteer-based, is designed to be observational –– meaning the monitors are not allowed to intervene. Instead, they will judge whether the event follows all of IFC’s bylaws.

“Arkeo members cannot stop offenses at any time, they simply observe and report back to us,” Danley said.

During training, volunteers were introduced to a check list composed of 20 different items ranging from event registration to the absence of hard alcohol.

According to IFC rules, all parties must be registered events with a typed guest list that doesn’t exceed 500 people. Hard liquor and drinking games are not allowed.

Greek leadership is hoping to meet 75 percent of the requirements for each event in the first couple of weeks.

Through the night, the volunteers will make rounds of registered events, stopping by twice at random times. They are also encouraged to check out houses appearing to hold an unregistered event, though the chapter is not required to let them inside the house.

If a chapter fails enough guidelines, it will face consequences from a meeting with the IFC leadership to a three-week probation on holding parties. The chapter with an overall best compliance will be rewarded with an IFC-sponsored party.

Arkeo patrols will occur every Friday and Saturday, except during Spring Jam, during which patrols will happen every day of the event.

Taking off

Most chapters are already following IFC risk management policies, but Arkeo is a better way of enforcement, said Danley.

“The goal of the program is to change the culture of drinking on campus,” he said. “In a few years, this is how greek life will function.”

The program will lead to more openness within the community, Danley said.

 “If people are trying to hide a problem, we can have issues like we had in the past, and that’s the last thing that people want,” he said.

Arkeo’s previous failure to launch was in part a lack of a continuation policy, said Kyle Wesen, Arkeo’s executive director.

By training people who can become program directors in the future, Wesen hopes the program will be sustained.

For the past two weekends, IFC executive members have gone out and patrolled parties. With the training complete, the volunteers will begin patrolling this weekend.

Many of the program participants joined Arkeo to become more involved in the greek community; others because their houses required it.

A portion of Saturday training was about addressing potentially dangerous situations. While the volunteers cannot get directly engaged, they are trained to take action like calling police if they feel the situation warrants intervention.

The program does not involve the Panhellenic Council — the sorority equivilant of the IFC. But Angela Ugorets, the Panhellenic Council president, feels confident Arkeo will provide the needed security for female guests.

“Arkeo just needs to take off,” she said. “Once that happens, it will be steady.”