UF chapter of music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha penalized for violating alcohol rule at event


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 11:53 p.m.

A music fraternity has penalized its University of Florida chapter for breaking a no-alcohol rule at a party last fall.

Member of UF's chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, the non-Greek but nationally recognized music fraternity, must attend alcohol awareness and risk management meetings and the fraternity is prohibited from rushing and pledging new members this semester.

Regional officials overseeing the chapter placed the group on probation last semester after members violated fraternity policy by consuming alcohol during a new member outing called Myth Night held in the Ocala National Forest, UF graduate student Carl Henrikson said.

Henrikson presides as the province governor, overseeing several fraternity chapters at universities in North Florida and South Georgia.

It had been tradition to have alcohol present at the event, but fraternity leaders ordered that it would be dry.

"I told the chapter beforehand that they were not to consume alcohol anytime before, during or after the event, in order to better manage their risks," Henrikson said in an e-mail, "but the chapter ignored this and drank at the event."

The fraternity, which doesn't have a house like many traditional Greek fraternities, promotes music through serenades and recitals. UF's chapter began in 1958.

The university was not involved in the penalty although leaders say that UF President Bernie Machen's tough stance on alcohol abuse among young people played a part in the decision to ban alcohol from the party in the first place.

Members said Henrikson wanted to keep the fraternity out of trouble with the university in any way.

The penalty, however, isn't sitting well with all members.

Chapter member Frank Manganello said the fraternity took every precaution to make sure that everyone was safe and smart and the way he sees it, it was just a bunch of friends having a good time camping out in the woods.

"We broke the rules, yes, but it is a shame that we are getting punished for what could've happened rather than what did happen," Manganello said. "Carl is launching a pre-emptive strike."

Manganello served as vice president of Phi Mu Alpha in the fall and now holds the position of fraternal education officer.

The chapter will remain on probation through May of next year.

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