University administrators report that the blackout on Eagle Row has been successful in keeping first-year students away from fraternity parties, but freshmen are saying otherwise.
“To date, there have not been any reported incidents of freshmen attending parties or consuming alcohol in fraternity houses on campus,” Assistant Dean of Campus Life and Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Victor Felts wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel.
In the past, there has been a one- to two-week period during which freshmen are not allowed at parties sponsored by fraternities on campus. This year, the blackout period will continue until spring recruitment.
In order to maintain the effectiveness of the blackout, Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Director of Residence Life Andy Wilson said Residence Life is working to offer students more opportunities to socialize on campus.
“One of the things we’re looking at is social engagement with freshmen,” Wilson said.
He said residence life is looking to have Resident Advisers help plan hall events during nights and weekends.
College freshman Bori Byun said she thinks that University-sponsored events can be a good alternative to fraternity parties, but that freshmen prefer finding parties elsewhere if they cannot get into a fraternity house.
“A lot of freshmen go to off-campus fraternity parties,” Byun said, listing former fraternities Pi Kappa Alpha or Pike, Alpha Epsilon Pi or APES and Sigma Nu.
She also cited Highland Lake apartments, located across the street from the Clairmont campus, as a popular party location for freshmen.
Felts wrote that administrators are concerned about the health and safety of students who turn to these alternatives. But College freshman Julio Medina said he feels that freshmen are more at risk when attending off-campus parties than when socializing on Eagle Row.
“We don’t have cars, so we walk everywhere,” he said.
Byun said freshmen are willing to walk to off-campus apartments and places like Moya, even late at night.
She also said that freshmen are reluctant to call for help from off-campus locations because the DeKalb County Police Department is the primary responder outside of the Emory community.
Wilson said he believes that the Emory administration is aware of these activities and that Residence Life is constantly assessing what the students’ needs are. He said Emory is making efforts to educate students about responsible behavior and balancing that behavior while still having fun.
But according to Medina, University-sponsored events are not enough to deter freshmen from the appeal of Eagle Row. He said that despite the blackout, there have been instances of first-year students at fraternity parties, on which he said he had no comment. According to Byun, frat row seems to be the “cool new place to be.”
“The fact that they closed down frat row makes freshmen want to go even more,” Medina said. “I think that when freshmen find out it’s not allowed, most people think there must be something that they’re missing out on.”
— Contact Alice Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org