Pledged - Drugs, Alcohol, and Sex - Part 2

Alcohol

So far from what I've read of Pledged is rather typical of what you'd expect when reading about alcohol in colleges. So for this post, I'm going to write about underage drinking and my experiences with how it was handled through the four years that I was at school.

Let me preface the rest of this post with one very important point. No alcohol was EVER permitted in the sorority house.

Freshman

At my university, Freshmen were not allowed to go Greek until their second semester. The university wanted to acclimate them to college life and let them transition from high school academics to college lectures. 

That said, first semester Freshman year (the semester we weren't allowed to go Greek) was the semester that I saw the most binge drinking in. There are a lot of reasons for this.

1. Many students are experiencing their first time without any form of supervision for an extended period of time. By college, you're expected to learn to live on your own. Quite frankly, RAs just are not the same as guardians you had in your younger years.

2. Rush is dry. Yes, you heard that right. The entire recruitment process as well as the New Member Period are both dry. That means, you're once again being supervised and you're not allowed to consume alcohol if you want to remain Greek.

Now that's not to say that New Members didn't still try and sneakily continue to party, but if they were caught they risked being called into Standards and potentially removed from the New Member Class.

For the most part, New Members didn't party during their New Member period. They'd only just been accepted to the sorority, and they didn't want to risk being thrown out before they were even initiated.

Sophomore

Sophomore year was the first year you were a fully initiated member of your sorority. You finally got to take part in mixers and other events that could potentially contain alcohol. However, you were not forced to, but if you did decide to partake, then you were monitored. There were sober monitors at every event, and they had the power to cut you off, remove you from the event, and even recommend to Standards and the advisory board that you required assistance with a potential problem. 

Basically, the heavy drinking days were done. Sisters didn't party nearly as much after joining a sorority and when they did, they knew their limitations, and we watched out for each other.

Junior

Junior year is the year many sisters begin turning 21. Once you entered the 21 club, you didn't really go to college parties much anymore unless you were going to look out for the younger sisters. Mostly, you could get into the bars, and that's where you knew everyone would be your age or older (fake IDs did happen, but for the most part the bouncers were pretty smart. Some of the bars even scanned IDs)

There were instances where younger sisters would drink too much. These were rare, and I only remember in my 4 years of being there, one woman having to have her stomach pumped. She had been drinking at an event that was not sanctioned, and stricter rules were enforced after the incident.

For a while, we had completely dry events. Not even the sisters over 21 could drink at sorority events. They would go to the bars after. Underage sisters would be expected to report to their dorms or the sorority house after the events, and if they were caught partying would be sent to Standards and the Advisory Board.

Senior

Slowly, but surely, alcohol was introduced to events once more. Sisters and dates over 21 were wrist-banded, and bartenders were fully aware of who was legally allowed to drink and who was not. 

Underage drinking still managed to slip by though it was closely monitored. If you were caught sneaking drinks at a sorority event, you were called before Standards and the Advisory Board. If you drank outside of sorority events, you still risked disciplinary action, however most women were generally much more cautious with their alcohol.

We were no longer the only chapter on campus that hosted dry mixers. This opened up a whole new doorway of opportunities to really get to know members of other sororities or of fraternities. There were paintball sisterhood events, laser tag mixers, bowling mixers, etc. 

By my Senior year, more than one chapter was beginning to stray from the traditional mixer of a pary with alcohol, to different types of events that could really let individuals get to know each other sober (and were a ton of fun). 

Alcohol abuse and underage drinking does happen, and can be a very big deal. Once again, your campus should have resources to help you if you think that a friend needs help dealing with an alcohol problem. Do your research, once again, you may save a life.

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