Starting this fall semester, students have been able to request reimbursements for food at off-campus parties through Greek Council. As of Sept. 28, nine requests for reimbursement have been approved, totaling $795 of the $1,500 semester budget.
Earlier in the semester, a fund was established using an alumni donation to reimburse organizations for food at parties. The Safer Parties Initiative recommends that there is food available at parties in order to help prevent alcohol poisoning.
“We’ve got $3,000 dollars for the year, so we wanted to, for the fall semester, keep it at $1,500,” said Jeremy Allen, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life. “So far we have distributed just short of $800, so we’re a little bit over the halfway mark for the semester. It’s been a mix of Greek organizations, sports teams and then we had one not affiliated with either. The majority are Greek-related.”
So far, Allen has heard positive reactions from those utilizing the funds.
“We’re going to do a more formal assessment process at the end of the semester to see how students feel this has been working, but with the groups I’ve been able to talk to, I think it’s been received really well,” Allen said. “The idea is to have food on hand so that instances of over-intoxication can be minimized and prevented in the first place. So far it seems like students are treating the fund in a way that is consistent with what we’re trying to promote. They’re following our guidelines, they’re getting requests in on time, they’re not requesting excessive amounts, things like that.”
Cheyne Minto, senior and president of Iota Chi Rho, explained that the fraternity has been approved for using the funds three times this semester and that having food at parties has been successful.
“There were a lot of people [at a house party] and nothing terrible happened,” Minto said. “There was no vomiting, and I think that’s the idea, is that people are drinking safer. I’ve gotten good responses from the people, too. Nobody is going to complain about free pizza. I like it. It makes throwing parties and enforcing SPIn and safe drinking very easy. Nobody was going to spend their own club money on food beforehand, so it’s a great idea. I hope it sticks around. I hope we don’t abuse it.”
Omega Phi, another fraternity on campus, has also used the fund once for a recent party.
“I think it did [improve the party] because it adds another fun aspect,” said Brian Guerrero, junior and president of Omega Phi. “Free food is always a bonus for college students, especially at a party. Because it’s late, it helps with the late night snack and with alcohol consumption. It’s just a positive thing to have, especially that Greek Council is promoting it.”
Since the budget for the semester is a little more than halfway gone, the process of approving groups will become slightly stricter for the rest of the semester.
“I think the approach will be to help promote access for a variety of organizations,” Allen said. “If we start to see the same organizations pop up three or four times, I think Greek council is going to say, ‘Let’s pause for a little bit and open this up and see if other groups want to take advantage to use the fund.’ We don’t want to run out too early. We’d like to take this as far into November as we can.”
Students interested in applying for funds must apply five days prior to their event and their event must be open to all Trinity students.