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Iowa allows two chapters to uncork bottles: Vanessa Miller column

Excerpt: 

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

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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