Univ. of Alabama targets fraternities with drug testing

The University of Alabama (UA) has allegedly been testing on-campus fraternity brothers on a “quiet” basis, according to AL.com.

Starting at the beginning of this past academic year, the University of Alabama implemented a mandatory drug testing policy for several fraternities; the tests are reportedly conducted on a weekly basis for members of several Greek organizations under a new drug crackdown policy.

When classes began, every active fraternity brother had to pass an initial drug test. Since then, random members of the frats submit to weekly tests.

The mandated drug testing was apparently met with controversy by members of the frats. Certain fraternity members proclaim that it is an invasion of privacy and it drives the use of harder-to-detect drugs, such as Xanax.

UA's Student Health Center teamed up with an organization called MPACT (Maximizing Potential through Academics Community & Treatment) to administer the drug testing for the greek organizations.

"It's pretty intense, but I guess it's effective. Five percent of the brothers get tested each week," UA Sigma Nu President Clyde Yelverton told AL.com. "We test with UA MPACT. They came up with it and we've worked with them to come up with a system more for fraternity use.”

If a fraternity brother fails a drug test administered by the university’s health center and the MPACT organization, the specific individual will face severe consequences, according to an article in Cosmopolitan.

"I've heard about Alabama doing drug screening or drug testing of fraternities, but I'm not aware of any other university that's gone to that point and using it to any great extent," David Westol, a risk management consultant for national fraternities like SAE and Sigma Nu, told AL.com.

Westol’s company, Limberlost Consulting Inc., has a niche in working with organizations like national fraternities and campus based societies. Specifically, Westol “works with campuses, headquarters, chapters, groups, teams, alumnae and alumni corporations and boards of directors at all levels to provide strategic planning, consulting, governance and governance document review,” according to his company’s website.

Westol further elaborated on how the drug testing regime at UA is one of the toughest in the country.

“All members of the University community—including faculty, staff, and students—have the right to pursue their individual and collective goals in a healthy work and educational environment,” UA’s drug policy states.

“A student or student organization may be disciplined for, and is deemed in violation of the Code of Student Conduct for the unlawful use, possession, sale, or distribution of any narcotic, drug paraphernalia, medicine, chemical compound, or other controlled substance that is illegal under federal, state, or local laws.”

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