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College groups should respond quickly to alcohol abuse

Release Date: April 15, 2013

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LTU’s Greek Leaders at MSU’s Greek Week are (L-R in the back row) Emily Graham, James Pattison, Krysta Foster, Liz Artz, Eula Muckleroy, TJ Sullivan (speaker), James Yat Keung Hui, and Christina Milne. In the middle row are Adam Oddo, Moshe Rafailov, Austin Chapman, Jeremy Nafsus, Mitchell McCreadie, Drew Tucker, and Justin Lee. In the front row are Kimberly Klieber, Nicole Pitchford, Meredith Harper, Marilyn Cannell, and Sydney Pea.

Even though alcohol abuse may not be a huge problem the Greek organizations at LTU face on a day-to-day basis, it is still an issue that we all need to be reminded of, Greek or non-Greek, and be ready to do something about it.

On April 2 during Greek Week at Michigan State University, Lawrence Technological University’s (LTU) Greek Leaders traveled to East Lansing to hear TJ Sullivan, founding father of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, address the issue of alcohol and member conduct within Greek organizations.

During his presentation, Sullivan put his audience in “what if” situations regarding a Greek member’s alcohol abuse. Having to confront a brother or sister of your fraternity or sorority about an issue such as excessive drinking is much harder than you would think. There are a lot of factors to consider when approaching a member of your organization.

“When confronting a brother/sister that is causing problems, one must keep three things in mind: Who (least bias in the situation) will do the confronting, where (not at a bar or someone’s property, most likely a public location) to confront, and no matter what replies you get, you must get your message through. This can also be applied to anybody for the rest of your life,” James Yat Keung Hui, president of LTU’s InterFraternity Council, said by e-mail.

People easily associate drinking as a problem for Greeks for a couple reasons, according to LTU Dean of Students Kevin Finn.

“One reason is because the Greek system is so tight, there are ways to find out if there is a problem because there are people looking out for them. Second, people have stereotypical views about Greeks and big parties. Alcohol abuse is an issue at every college. It is not just a Greek problem. It is a challenge for all students between the ages of 18-24,” Finn said.


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, and more than 97,000 college students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
Whether you are part of LTU’s Greek organizations or not, as college students, we can all take a stand in not becoming just another alcohol-related statistic by unbiased confrontation and  lending a helping hand to someone who may need it.

“You must not be too quick to judge [a person], and you must be patient. People in general are very short to ‘attack’ or question others that are struggling with situations, and it just causes more problems,” Kimberly Klieber, president of LTU’s Greek Honor Society Order of Omega, said by e-mail.