What constitutes tradition

After the end of a pause to social events for most Ball State University fraternities, members look for the best ways to move forward.

On Oct. 24, 2017, officials at Ball State University called together a meeting with presidents from each of the 13 Interfraternity Council (IFC) chapters on campus. Kari Murphy, the director of Greek Life, and the other officials there told the group it was time to solve a problem.

Throughout the spring and fall semesters of 2017, the IFC organizations had displayed a pattern of behavior university authorities described as “unacceptable.” According to an email statement from Ball State’s Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, the Office of Greek Life filed 51 reports related to alcohol, fighting, hazing, excessive noise, or sexual misconduct between Aug. 1 and Oct. 23.

Trevor Holland, who was president of the IFC at the time, says excessive alcohol consumption and rowdiness had been causing more hospital visits during Greek activities. Friction between some of the fraternities had also ended in fights at a few of the parties.

Murphy says some of the ongoing concerns included noise complaints to the University Police Department and the increased number of events happening several nights a week, not limited to weekends.

The meeting, which took place a couple days after Ball State’s homecoming, was not motivated by any specific incident or weekend. But during homecoming, the pattern of behavior that had emerged moved from fraternity houses to the tailgating fields, and that visibility contributed to a decision that change needed to happen.

Trevor says he and other Greek leaders had seen the fraternities from other schools across the country making headlines for the deaths taking place at their parties. He didn’t want that to be what Ball State turned into.

“We’re not that community, and we know we’re not,” Trevor says. “The Ball State Greek community is a community of values, and we know that. This was an opportunity to challenge that.”

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