Phi Delta Theta will ban alcohol on its property beginning in 2000.
The president of a Kansas University fraternity said plans to ban alcohol on fraternity property will benefit the organization.
"I think it's a good thing and so do the members in this chapter," said Al Boulware, president of Phi Delta Theta, 1621 Edgehill Rd.
National officers of the fraternity earlier this month unanimously approved a measure banning alcohol from all of its houses. The ban will take effect July 1, 2000.
"I think, at first, a lot of members when they first heard the news were a little upset by it," Boulware said. "Later, they sort of changed their tune and realized that this may be a good thing."
He said that in addition to helping improve the public image of fraternities, the ban could lessen the risk of liability and lawsuits stemming from incidents in which alcohol may be a factor.
"Hopefully this will help ease people's stereotypes about us," he said. "We don't drink any more than the average college student.
"I think this is the general direction that a lot of fraternities are going to have to go, just because of liability and insurance reasons."
In addition, he said, "Fraternities are based on brotherhood and ... certain ideals. I think letting people have alcohol in there and just drinking nonstop, that tends to steer away from what the fraternities were made for.
"We need to step back to where the fraternity system was. Alcohol is more of an issue than it was in the past. We're trying to get back to (what) fraternities are supposed to be representing."
Boulware said the KU chapter this fall will begin to institute a series of gradual restrictions on alcohol, making the transition to a complete ban easier.
The ban will not prohibit the fraternity from sponsoring events where alcohol is served. But those events will no longer be on fraternity property.
The ban also will not prohibit members from drinking alcohol off fraternity property.
Punishment for violating the ban once it takes effect will be up to each chapter, Boulware said.
About 90 of the KU chapter's 107 members live in the Phi Delt house. The chapter was established in 1882.