Fraternity Issues at the Alpha Psi Rodeo

The Alpha Psi Rodeo is April 21, 2018 at Sistrunk Farms in Opelika, Alabama (technically, this is Macon County). The coordinators for the Alpha Psi Rodeo have changed the theme to “Make the Rodeo Great Again”. By doing that, they are bringing back the BYOB and tailgating which were removed from the Rodeo last year. In addition, the coordinators for the Rodeo are setting up trailers for rental by different groups to watch the concert and rodeo events. These trailers will be placed around the rodeo ring and in view of the concert stadium.

Because of the changes this year, a number of issues affect fraternities. The Alpha Psi Fraternity encourages all the fraternities to attend their function and in the past fraternities have made it a point to congregate together at the rodeo. That said, this creates an issue for the fraternities under the Interfraternity Council Risk Management Policy. Specifically, if a fraternity rents a trailer this year for use at the rodeo, essentially this becomes a fraternity event sponsored or endorsed by the Chapter. In addition, if you hang flags from the trailer designating it to be a fraternity trailer and making it such that an observer would associate it with the fraternity, it would fall under a fraternity event and subject under the Interfraternity Council Risk Management Policies.

Policy 2 provides:

“No alcoholic beverages may be purchased through or with chapter funds nor may the purchase of same for members or guests be undertaken or coordinated by any member in the name of or on behalf of the chapter. The purchase or use of a bulk quantity or common source(s) of alcoholic beverage, for example, kegs or cases, is prohibited.”

The Alpha Psi Rodeo is a BYOB event. That means the “O” in BYOB is “own”. If everyone brings their own alcohol, it will not be a violation of Article 2 of the Interfraternity Council Risk Management Policy. However, if groups provide kegs, cases, handles of alcohol or alcohol from a cooler or other source, the fraternity may violate the “Common Source Rule.”

It is important that fraternities understand the common source rule and its applicability towards the trailers rented for the Alpha Psi Rodeo. There should be no coolers or common source alcohol available on the trailers or directly adjacent to the trailers for fraternity members. Also, keep in mind that it is a violation of the Risk Management Policy to provide alcohol to minors. By not having a common source of alcohol available to others, a fraternity can avoid both the common source and the distribution of alcohol to a minor which is both a fraternity council and criminal offense.

Jeffrey G. Tickal | GULLAGE & TICKAL, LLP | Attorneys at Law

511 Geneva Street, Opelika, AL 36801

(o) 334-737-3733

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