UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

UC Berkeley imposes ban on alcohol at fraternity and sorority events

– Growing concerns about alcohol-related incidents have led the University of California, Berkeley, to enact a ban on alcohol consumption at all events hosted by campus fraternities and sororities, officials announced today (Monday, May 9).

The ban goes into effect immediately. It applies to all fraternities and sororities and all activities hosted by the campus's Greek community.

"Throughout the school year, and especially in the last few weeks, we have seen an alarming increase in problems with alcohol abuse, hazing, fights and badly managed parties at all types of Greek organizations," said UC Berkeley Dean of Students Karen Kenney. "We need to address those issues to ensure student safety."

Fraternity and sorority leaders were informed of the moratorium today. Greek chapters may go forward with social events as long as they are alcohol-free. If a chapter violates the moratorium, UC Berkeley's Student Judicial Affairs office will move to revoke its recognition by the campus.

Student leaders from various fraternities and sororities have sought to address these problems, but alcohol-related incidents and hazing continued, according to Kenney.

"This campus has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hazing and alcohol abuse," said Kenney. "Fraternities and sororities need to take these issues much more seriously."

Kenney plans to form a work group of students and administrators that would meet over the summer and formulate a plan to address the situation through new policies, additional educational efforts, and stronger enforcement of policies.

The moratorium will remain in effect until campus officials are confident that the work group, in coordination with the broader Greek community, has made significant progress in addressing these issues.

The last time the campus banned alcohol in the Greek community was April 2002. That moratorium was limited to fraternities and sororities with chapter houses and to social events. A gradual lifting of that ban took place at the end of the fall 2002 semester as chapters demonstrated responsible actions at parties and other events.

UC Berkeley has 70 fraternities and sororities with more than 2,500 members. Under a current and longstanding campus policy, hard liquor is banned. Beer and wine are permitted for students of legal drinking age, but are prohibited if served from kegs or other bulk containers. In addition, all alcohol use is banned during fraternity and sorority recruitment weeks.