Hazing News

Iowa allows two chapters to uncork bottles: Vanessa Miller column


IOWA CITY — One sorority and one fraternity out of 26 eligible University of Iowa Greek chapters have asked to hold parties with alcohol this weekend — as part of a test of new, strict guidelines around such events in the future.

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is planning to host a party from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Iowa City. The Chi Omega sorority is planning its event from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rapid Creek Cidery in Iowa City.

Both organizations, per the proposed formal and date party policy, had to provide the university with a guest list — Phi Kappa Psi expects 200 attendees, and Chi Omega is planning for 300, according to information provided to The Gazette from the university.

This weekend’s events will be the first sanctioned Greek system parties with alcohol since the university enacted a moratorium on them in May after UI freshman Kamil Jackowski, 19, died April 30 during a Sigma Chi event at Lake of the Ozarks. He was there for an out-of-town formal with his fraternity, and thus events outside Johnson County were barred, too.

A fraternity and sorority life alcohol harm reduction work group has been meeting since to create a path forward. The group developed highly regulated party guidelines that they offered the university’s 26 compliant chapters to test this weekend. Ten chapters are not in good standing for reasons the university hasn’t disclosed, and therefore can’t host a local party with alcohol.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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