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Cause of death announced; alcohol moratorium remains

News Editor

Published: Sunday, October 2, 2011

Updated: Sunday, October 2, 2011 17:10

Sigma Chi

Katie Dees/Central Florida Future

The Sigma Chi fraternity is still on probation despite the non-alcohol-related cause of death of UCF freshman Ann Marie Hefferin.

Tri Delta house

Katie Dees/Central Florida Future

The Delta Delta Delta sorority is still on probation for violating university policies during the spring and fall 2011 semesters.

The Delta Delta Delta sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity remain on probation despite the cause of death of Ann Marie Hefferin being determined not to be alcohol related.

The new TriDelt member, who had attended a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house on campus, was found unresponsive in her dorm room early the next morning and later died. After a university investigation, both houses were placed on probation Sept. 22 for disruptive conduct and alcohol-related misconduct.

"There is no impact on the sanctions," UCF spokesman Chad Binette said. "The probations imposed earlier this month were strictly for violations related to the unregistered party on Aug. 24 where alcohol was served in violation of university rules. Sigma Chi and Delta Delta Delta accepted responsibility for those charges and were placed on probation."

According to Section 8 of the UCF Golden Rule Handbook, "serving, possession or consumption of alcohol by individuals of legal age may be permitted in private residential rooms in the residence halls and other on-campus housing."

Grant Heston, assistant vice president of UCF News & Information, previously said this means alcohol is allowed in fraternity houses but only in the private rooms and not in public areas. With permission, which Heston said is a rarity, alcohol is allowed in the public areas.

In addition to Section 8, any student, organization or employee must secure approval in advance before hosting a potentially hazardous event.

The UCF Regulations, Chapter 4.0292, define a potentially hazardous event as "any activity that could reasonably be expected to create a risk of harm to persons or of defacement or damage to public or private property."

Alcohol banned

On Sept. 2, executive members of the Diversified Greek Council, Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Panhellenic Council, which constitute the UCF Greek Council, banned alcohol from future events in the Greek community.

According to the minutes from the Sept. 2 meeting, IFC motioned to enact the moratorium on all wet events registered by the UCF Greek community.

Adam Brock, president of the IFC council, said the point of the moratorium was to reevaluate the Greek community through a three-step process: the first step is to identify the problem, then figure out how to correct the problem and finally implement a solution.

Some Greeks want ban lifted

NPHC and DGC sought for the moratorium to be lifted for themselves because they think it was only hindering their fundraising, according to the minutes from the Sept. 23 Greek Council meeting.

Belinda Boston, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said that she met with administrators and they think the campus is not ready for the moratorium to be lifted, but organizations could be allowed [wet] events on a case-by-case basis, the report states.

Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Scott Clark said that the moratorium could be lifted for everyone and the IFC and PAN could self impose moratoriums, but NPHC didn't want this because of the potential public relations consequences.

A motion was proposed by DGC to keep the moratorium in place; however, organizations will be able to seek the permission to host [wet] events, as was passed with a 5-0-0 vote.

"I feel we haven't gotten to implementation yet," Brock said. "Lifting the moratorium would be a complete waste of time at this point."

While the implementation of possible solutions has yet to take place, other Greek organizations have banded together in an effort to give students a chance to learn about the possible effects of alcohol.

Pi Delta Psi fraternity and Delta Phi Lambda sorority teamed up to host an alcohol awareness workshop Sept. 30 because they believe alcohol is a recurring issue in the UCF community.

The workshop included playing games, listening to guest speakers and attending a presentation on the effects of alcohol on the body.

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