David Tuttle, dean of students, sent a student-wide email on Wednesday, Sept. 12, regarding unspecified events that happened at an off-campus fraternity house the previous weekend. The off-campus residence belongs to the Bengal Lancer fraternity.
“Already this semester there have been reports that expectations for student safety have not been met at a student residence,” Tuttle wrote in the email. “Please let this serve as notice that students should either avoid events at this location or attend events there with extreme caution.”
Further information regarding the weekend’s events was not released. Both Tuttle and Jeremy Allen, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, refused to comment on specifics.
Senior Dupri Grimes, president of the Bengal Lancers, spoke to Allen about the event from the weekend. According to Grimes, Allen thinks that the Lancers followed all the Safer Parties Initiative (SPIn) guidelines, but additional steps could be taken to make parties safer.
“I talked to Jeremy Allen about everything that happened. We went over every single rule pretty much and the point that he got to was yes, we may have done everything, like all the rules, but that’s kind of like the basic minimum of what you should do, and you could always do more,” Grimes said.
Trinity University created the Safer Party Initiative (SPIn) for the purpose of creating a safer social environment for students. Organizations must follow the guidelines specified in the initiative for off-campus events involving alcohol.
“Our community remains committed to the Safer Parties Initiative, and I believe the fraternities and sororities on campus consistently implement many of the recommendations and guidelines to make their events safe places for our students,” Allen wrote in an email interview. “Actions may be taken to address any organization that appears to not adopt the recommendations in a consistent, tangible and meaningful manner.”
SPIn states that Trinity University will send a notice to all students naming any off-campus residence that doesn’t meet safety expectations. At the Lancer house over the weekend Tuttle said that the safety concerns involved intoxicated students and serious associated negative outcomes.
“While residents at this address, and others, have worked to implement these guidelines, hosts always assume risk when sponsoring events,” Tuttle wrote in an email. “It is imperative that every effort is made to avoid all potential negative consequences for dangerous situations.”
Lancers check TigerCards at the door, because Greek life parties are intended to be primarily Trinity students. To monitor alcohol intake, Lancers draw an “X” on the hands of students under 21 and have people walk around to check up on and help out the guests, called “sober monitors.” SPIn requires precautions like these, amount others, to be taken.
“One thing I want to do is let the general public know about the types of things that we do at parties to keep everyone safe,” Grimes said. “The thing is, it’s not only just Lancers. Like whenever you’re at a Lancer party it’s not only Lancers that will be able to help you out.”
Grimes urged people to reach out for help if they need it.
“The school is taking precautions to make sure that parties are safer, but if there are any problems I just want to let everyone know that, if they have a problem, you can always go to [Greek members] for help because all of us are trained in this,” Grimes said. “Don’t just stand there and not ask for help, just ask someone for help if you need it or if you see anything going on, and someone will help you.”
According to Allen, SPIn and its guidelines will continue to develop with campus needs in mind.
“I, along with Greek Council, remain committed to working with groups proactively to identify continual improvements the community can make in hosting future events,” Allen wrote.
Information regarding the Safer Party Initiative can be found on the Trinity University website. No further comments from Allen or Tuttle were given by the time of publication.