The Collegian
Sunday, August 09, 2020

Lodges amend policy, limit number of registrations

The revised lodge policy, which requires attendees to register by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday for any lodge party occurring that weekend, will now limit the number of lodge parties students can register to attend to two.

"I was hoping that people would only sign up for that which they would go to," said Alison Bartel Keller, director of Greek life. "It is obviously not what's happening.

"We have extraordinarily lengthy guest lists and we're putting together the numbers of who actually attends and there is a significant difference."

Names must be submitted by Wednesday for the processing and distribution of the lists to the fraternities, Keller said. Up until this week, students could register for all of the lodges that they planned to attend, she said.

"We are only going to allow people to choose two," she said, "because we know on average that people do not go to more than two lodges in one night. That is an effort to get a more realistic handle on what a realistic guest list will look like."

Keller said the change would take effect this week, but its impact would not be fully realized until next semester, because many of the lodges have begun holding their last parties.

Sophomore Michael Marquardt, risk manager for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said last week 1,030 people had registered to attend the SAE lodge. "We didn't really expect 1,030 people to come even though we had that many names," Marquardt said.

Marquardt said the new revision to the policy could further limit the number of people able to attend the lodges. If two fraternities are hosting lodges and both are at capacity at about 300 people each, a greater number of people could get turned away, he said.

"I'm all about having people come out, get into the lodge and have a good time," he said.

Through the new policy, the university is able to convey the lodge regulations to each student when they register, and students have equal access to making the guest list, Keller said.

Sophomore Thomas Griego, risk manager for Sigma Phi Epsilon, said since the implementation of the new policy, attendance has improved. Griego said he thought people didn't feel as intimidated by not knowing the brothers. In addition, the policy has been successful in making attendees more accountable, he said.

"It takes some of the liability off of us," he said. "There is a liability on the student going into the situation, and it is no longer all on the fraternity, so the policy does help with that."Griego said the new revision to the policy would be useful to the fraternity's risk team in determining the number of attendees, but makes students' decisions on which lodges to attend restrictive.

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"Attendance-wise I believe students will think through the process much more than they normally would," he said. "Obviously, the downside to this is if people change their minds the day before, they can't re-register, as registration closes on Thursdays at midnight."

Marquardt and Griego agreed the policy needs to have a provision for off-campus guests of brothers who want to attend the lodge and who are unable to meet the Wednesday deadline and that the deadline for registering to attend the lodges should be extended.

Keller said the goals of the revisions were to increase safety and liability, and minimize the need for risk management. The hope is for the system to be more inclusive, she said.

"Is it perfect?" she said. "No. I think we're working on it."

Contact staff writer Sarah Bowers at sarah.bowers@richmond.edu

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