College Fraternity Sober Monitors

Fraternities and the university collaborate on a harm reduction approach to unsafe drinking at fraternity parties:

The Interfraternity Council is looking to bring a fresh approach to social responsibility through a redesigned Sober Monitor Training Program.

The program will provide members of the Greek community with the skills necessary to hold safer parties and handle alcohol-related situations that may arise at parties. At all fraternity parties a designated number of brothers is required to remain sober throughout the night. IFC president Ari Parritz said a priority of his will be to have most first-year members attend the program so they’ll know what to do when it’s their turn to be a sober monitor.

“My goal for this program is to have every new member — that is, the individuals generally responsible for the operation and conduct of our social events — complete it by February of 2010,” Parritz said in an e-mail interview. “Our community trusts these individuals with the safety and conduct of our social events; as such, they should be trained by professionals, and never be placed in a situation where they are unsure what to do.”

Desprez said there have been three training sessions so far this semester, with each session having between 10 and 40 people in attendance. There are plans to have eight to 12 sessions conducted by the end of the semester, she said.

The training program includes conversations and demonstrations on blood alcohol content, recognizing different levels of intoxication, alcohol-related laws, risk management issues, conflict management skills, and emergency protocol, Desprez said.