Dry houses seem to be a growing trend among fraternities

Melissa Berg

Two more fraternities were added to the list of alcohol-free houses at the end of last semester, giving fraternity members another source of pride in their greek community.

“Greekland just continues to get drier,” said Chris Finnegan, member of Theta Chi fraternity.

Delta Sigma Phi, 218 Ash Ave., and Theta Chi, 219 Ash Ave., joined the other six alcohol-free fraternities, Acacia, Adelante, Alpha Sigma Phi, FarmHouse, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 140 Lynn Ave.

Alpha Kappa Lambda, 2635 Knapp St., will be the ninth alcohol-free house beginning Fall 2001.

For most of the houses, becoming alcohol-free was a decision made by the national headquarters affecting all of the chapters. This was the case for Delta Sigma Phi in December 2000.

Delta Sigma Phi member Travis Peters, sophomore in elementary education, said, at first, the reaction about this decision from his fraternity was not favorable. However, he said there have been many positives, such as a cleaner and quieter environment.

Peters said, although it may be harder to recruit men to their fraternity because they are alcohol-free, it hasn’t been a problem so far.

Theta Chi fraternity members also were unhappy about the alcohol-free policy, but they have learned to live with it and adapt, said Nate Hibben, vice president of the fraternity and undecided freshman.

“Those who were first against going dry now accept it and take pride in the house and its cleanliness,” he said.

The dry houses also are relieved of the burden of cleaning up after wild parties, said Finnegan, sophomore in exercise and sport science.

“We don’t have to worry about liabilities because of parties, and the house doesn’t get trashed,” he said.

Theta Chi converted to an alcohol-free environment due to party infractions, but Theta Chi National Headquarters will be forcing all chapters to become dry in 2003, so the ISU chapter is just a few steps ahead, Finnegan said.

“We had meetings and workshops to prepare us for the change,” he said. “Now we are ahead of the other Theta Chi chapters, and we know what it takes to make it work.”

Nolan Pattee, member of Phi Delta Theta, 2035 Sunset Dr., said their national chapter went dry in fall 1998, and being an alcohol-free house has been beneficial in recruitment.

“It helps to get guys who really want to be involved in the house,” said Pattee, sophomore in pre-advertising.

FarmHouse, 311 Ash Ave., has been internationally alcohol-free since the early 1970s and hasn’t had any trouble with recruitment, said Chad Harris, senior in political science.

Harris said FarmHouse has to take a different approach to recruitment and emphasize brotherhood.

Raj Bhagat, member of Adelante, 318 Welch Ave., said the grades in the house have not made any sort of dramatic increase since the house went dry in fall 1998. The alcohol-free policy may have an effect on recruitment, said Bhagat, freshman in pre-business, because a lot of freshman want to have fun, and alcohol-free house is not what they are looking for.

Ryan Satterly, undecided sophomore and member of Alpha Sigma Phi, 2132 Sunset Dr., said he likes the fact the house is dry because “the wet ones I visited were pretty crazy.”

Dan Kline, member of Acacia, 138 Gray Ave., said he is starting to see a tendency for recruits to be interested in joining an alcohol-free house. “I think it’s a reflection on students nowadays that they want to come to school to study and meet friends rather than just drink,” said Kline, junior in electrical engineering.