IFC judicial board issues first sanctions in Arkeo’s first month

Only minor offenses have been reported in four weekends Arkeo volunteers have worked.

Arkeo volunteers Anthony Pirkl and Stefan Platikanov review their checklist to make sure fraternities are fulfilling their regulatory obligations to oversee social events Saturday night on University Avenue. Each Friday and Saturday night, volunteers of the greek party-patrol program visit University of Minnesota fraternities to enforce Interfraternity Council policies.

Arkeo volunteers Anthony Pirkl and Stefan Platikanov review their checklist to make sure fraternities are fulfilling their regulatory obligations to oversee social events Saturday night on University Avenue. Each Friday and Saturday night, volunteers of the greek party-patrol program visit University of Minnesota fraternities to enforce Interfraternity Council policies.

Nickalas Tabbert

Saturday night was business as usual for Kyle Wesen.

Walking down University Avenue, clipboard in hand, he and two other men approached the Delta Tau Delta house and knocked on the door.

“Arkeo,” they told the fraternity member at the entrance.

Wesen has been patrolling registered fraternity parties for four weekends now as part of his executive director duties for Arkeo — the greek self-policing program.

Volunteers patrol registered events on Friday and Saturday nights, observing party infractions and reporting back to the University of Minnesota Interfraternity Council’s judicial board. Failing three or more safety requirements results in a judicial board hearing.

Two chapters have been sanctioned so far, said IFC President Mike Danley. In one case, he said volunteers saw a minor drinking “hard alcohol,” while the other chapter didn’t ID every person entering through the door.

Another chapter is likely headed toward a board hearing after Arkeo volunteers cited multiple violations Saturday night, Wesen said.

The sanction process is private — only those on the 11-member judicial board, the chapter involved and Danley know about the hearing and any subsequent discipline.

Tim Bohl, IFC’s vice president, said most violations are minor but thinks that might not last.

“There is a pretty high chance we could see a major infraction in the next year,” he said, citing a few chapters who have been repeatedly cited.

A typical night

Arkeo volunteers begin their night with a meeting with Wesen at a place near fraternity row like the McDonald’s in Dinkytown. Together, they go over the list of registered events scheduled for the evening. Seven events were registered Saturday night.

Arkeo currently has 35 trained members rotating through the patrols, Wesen said. Volunteers visit houses pre-registered for the evening but can also check out any house they suspect is having an unregistered party.

Once inside, volunteers talk to the party’s sober monitors — the two or three house members who man the door and keep the party in control.

For parties open to a large number of people, houses are required to provide a printed guest list for Arkeo. Failure to do so is equivalent to failing the entire safety requirements checklist, Wesen said.

Monitors show the volunteers the party areas of the house, excluding bedrooms, which can’t be searched for privacy reasons, Wesen said. Volunteers also can’t go into areas they are not shown during the tour.

Each visit typically takes 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the event. On Saturday, three of the seven events took five minutes or less because there wasn’t a party going on. Fraternities will sometimes register just in case, Wesen explained.

After checking out the event, volunteers go through the checklist, making additional written comments.

“The narrative is the most important part of the checklist because it is the most descriptive,” Wesen said. “The more detail for the judicial board, the better.”

The volunteers also go over the comments with the sober monitors, explaining where and how the chapter can improve.

“They cannot learn anything if we don’t tell them what they’re doing wrong,” Wesen said.

After the monitors sign the checklist to acknowledge the visit, it’s on to the next house.

At the end of the night, the volunteers give their reports to Wesen so he can email the news to Danley or Bohl.

But Wesen said the system is not perfect. There are an average of 12 registered events each weekend and only three to four men patrolling them. Most nights, Arkeo only makes it to each house once, Wesen said.

“Just think about it,” he said. “If there are six parties each night and if we spend an average of 20 minutes at each house, that’s two hours already gone by.”

3 strikes, you’re out

Chapters failing Arkeo’s safety standards face the IFC’s judicial board.

After a review, the board decides a punishment by majority vote. Some penalties, like fines, are already laid out in the IFC bylaws. But the council  also wants to fine-tune a strike system for other punishments.

Three strikes can result in a year of social probation from homecoming and Spring Jam. Five strikes can result in being kicked off of IFC for a period of time, Danley said.

Each case is different depending on the infractions. Two or three minor offenses, like open containers entering or exiting the event or finding alcohol outside the house, can result in a strike.

“We want it to be more than just a slap on the wrist,” Danley said. IFC wants to follow through with enforcement more than last year, he said.

 To help chapters learn from their mistakes, Bohl also wants to implement education into punishments.

“For example, if a house is reported for having an underage guest drinking, we have a speaker about underage drinking visit,” he said.

Danley said Arkeo has seen its share of difficulties within the past year, but he and other leaders are confident the right pieces are in place.

“These first few years will be about getting chapters to buy into the program,” Danley said. “By the third year, this will be tradition.”