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What Constitutes an Official FS Event?

But it wasn’t an “Official” event—Why are we in trouble?

Adapted from the FIPG Manual

What constitutes an official fraternity/sorority event? Official events can sometimes be difficult to define, but if you follow the guidelines outlined in the FIPG Manual, your events will expose your chapter to less risk. This is what the FIPG Manual has to say:

The possession, sale, use or consumption of ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event, in any situation sponsored or endorsed by the chapter, or at any event an observer would associate with the fraternity, must be in compliance with all applicable laws of the state, province, county, city and institution of higher education, and must comply with either the BYOB or Third Party Vendor Guidelines.

Key point: Simply because an officer or member decides or declares that an event is not associated with the organization does not mean that if something goes wrong, the chapter and members may not be named in a lawsuit or otherwise held accountable. Therefore, it is safer and more sensible to assume that any time more than a few members or pledged members are involved in an event, it will be considered a chapter event, and the policies apply. That is the reason for the language, “…or at any event an observer would associate with the (fraternity)”. An observer may associate an event with a chapter if only a few members are present. And, juries are made up of people who are also “observers”.