As fraternities on The Row kick off their Welcome Back Nights events tonight, steps will be taken to ensure that participating houses follow guidelines to avoid a shutdown by the Department of Public Safety.
New Interfraternity Council President Pat Lauer said one of his key focuses this semester is improving the risk management teams, which include members from each fraternity that are trained by DPS on how to control parties and what to do when certain potentially dangerous situations arise.
The risk management program came as a response to the social ban placed on The Row last semester. The goals of the program revolve around the need for better cohesion between Greek members, USC students and authorities.
“In the past, a huge problem has been transparency; there was no communication between DPS and the risk management teams,” Lauer said. “We have to show a legitimacy in our ability to self-govern, and I see bettering the risk management program as the way to go about achieving this.”
Lauer said IFC will again employ measures that were implemented in the fall, after Welcome Back Nights was shut down in spring 2010.
“The problems were the size [of the events] and unwelcomed guests,” Lauer said. “Last semester was our first time using a security company, and we had no incidents, so we decided to do the same thing again [this semester].”
Security will be checking student IDs at the doors and making sure there is no congestion in the street. Music volume is to be kept at a minimum and if students are holding red cups outside of any fraternity, The Row risks being shut down, Lauer said.
The risk management teams will also be doing walks around The Row along with DPS officials to ensure there is compliance with the rules.
As in past semesters, hard alcohol will still be banned and the events will be limited to active fraternity members and USC guests that are invited, which will be left up to each house’s discretion.
“The biggest thing for us is controlling Wednesday night,” Lauer said. “I’ve met with [DPS] Chief Thomas and he said they will probably shut down the whole Row on the second night if Wednesday goes poorly.”
Lauer said the primary goal of the enforcement is to start off the semester on a good note, avoid social related incidents and keep everyone safe.
“It is up to us to control these events so they can trust us to have [them] in the future,” he said.