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New policy bars thousands of fraternities from serving their own hard alcohol
The vast majority of fraternities in the U.S. will not be allowed to serve their own hard alcohol, instead having to rely on licensed, third-party vendors, as per new rules announced by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).
After "a near unanimous vote," NIC ruled that no alcohol "above 15% ABV," or alcohol by volume, could be served in frats, unless by a licensed and insured third-party vendor at a registered social event, BuzzFeed News reports.
The change was precipitated by several alcohol-related deaths, most of which NIC says were fed by hard alcohol.
"Nearly all hazing and over-consumption deaths in the past two years have involved students consuming high-percentage alcohol beverages," the NIC said.
"At their core, fraternities are about brotherhood, personal development and providing a community of support," CEO and president of NIC Judson Horras said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed. "Alcohol abuse and its serious consequences endanger this very purpose."
BuzzFeed reports that several fraternities have instituted similar rules on themselves. Purdue University was the first in 2015, followed by University of Kansas, Indiana University, and the University of Missouri.
The Distilled Spirits Council pushed back against the new policy, arguing that it was unfair to target some types of alcohol over others.
"While well-intentioned, implementing a policy that bans distilled spirits products while continuing to permit beer and wine is misguided and not supported by the science," the organization said in its statement.
Updated: Wednesday, 1:33 p.m.