Large, unorganized parties have prompted the Boulder Interfraternity Council to ban alcohol at social events at local chapter houses for at least two weeks.
The IFC, which is not affiliated with the University of Colorado but includes 16 fraternities made up of CU undergraduates, voted on the social moratorium in February so that the chapters could review and improve their risk management policies and procedures.
"It was no one incident or event that caused it," said Marc Stine, spokesman for the council. "There was nobody hurt. There was nobody killed. There was no fire, flood. There was no one thing."
Stine said he had heard concerns that fraternity parties were getting larger and less controlled this spring semester.
Many of the fraternities started the semester with new presidents, Stine said, and the self-imposed ban on alcohol at chapter houses is to make sure all of the Boulder fraternities are "on the same page."
Stine added that the moratorium is not a result of "any single catastrophic" event.
"If we'd had one of those, you would've known about it a long time ago," he said. "We have had some of those."
In 2005, fraternities cut ties with CU. The alcohol-poisoning death of Chi Psi fraternity pledge Lynn "Gordie" Bailey Jr. prompted the university to ask for a delayed rush and live-in supervisor requirement, changes fraternity leaders did not agree with.
Last fall, the Boulder IFC expelled Sigma Pi from the council for serving alcohol to potential recruits during rush.
This year, the number of alcohol citations and noise complaints are down, thanks to a continued partnership between the chapters and the Boulder Police Neighborhood Impact Team, through which each fraternity works one-on-one with a liaison officer, Stine said.
The social moratorium, Stine said, is a chance for reflection and improvement. On Sunday, fraternity presidents, social chairs, house managers, risk managers and new member education chairs met with Boulder police and fire representatives, as well as others, during a workshop on risk management.
"It is proactive and pre-emptive 'Everybody stand down,'" Stine said. "Let's review what we're doing. Let's review what we could do better or different. Let's review every chapter's safety and security plans, both for social events and for times when you're not having social events. Let's review the communitywide expectations and be sure we got everybody on the same page, and let's not try to do that while we have normal operations."
Other fraternity activities such as leadership development, athletics and philanthropies are still going on, Stine said, and social events are still allowed at third-party venues where participants are providing their own security and alcohol.
Stine said the council wanted to be respectful of local police and fire crews.
"(Fraternities) don't have a right to inordinately draw those resources to our functions so they're less available to everybody else in town," he said.
Senior Drake Duenas, IFC president, said in a statement that the fraternities will use the moratorium to discuss how to best adapt to a changing environment and work with community partners.
"As a fraternity community, we have seen incidents that raise awareness to our social policies," Duenas said. "It is our mission to provide the safest social events on the Hill, and a proactive approach to fixing issues as they arise is the best format to achieve that mission."
Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta contributed to this report.