10/18/2004

Contact: Laura Cripple, KU Fraternity & Sorority Life, (785) 864-4861

KU Panhellenic Association bans catering firm from chapter functions, events

LAWRENCE -- The 13 sorority chapter members of the University of Kansas Panhellenic Council have voted unanimously to prohibit the hiring of Jayhawk Catering for any chapter-sponsored functions and events effective immediately.

The council cited the private company's failure to comply with terms established by the Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council, in particular policies concerning serving underage guests and the presence of certified security guards at events.

"Our first priority is the safety of our members and our guests, and we must have the full cooperation of our vendors. This was an unfortunate but necessary action," said Stephanie LeClaire, Panhellenic vice president for public relations.

Sorority chapters are required by their national organizations to contract with third-party vendors at all events where alcohol is served. Before this ban, Jayhawk Catering was the most widely used third-party vendor by Panhellenic sororities.

"With this ban, the chapters are taking a step to combat safety and liability risks that could occur if these regulations are not followed," said Laura Cripple, progam director for the Fraternity & Sorority Life office at KU.

Cripple noted that the catering company began charging a $275 service fee, which was not stipulated in the contract, if guests did not spend a certain amount of money at a social event.

"This was another catalyst to the ban, because the chapters felt that they were, in essence, being charged for not drinking enough, which is antithetical to all our practices and policies," she said.

Chapters that have already scheduled and paid for functions with Jayhawk Catering may keep their contract.

The ban can be conditionally removed when the Panhellenic Executive Board and Panhellenic chapter presidents are satisfied the company will faithfully follow the procedures required by Panhellenic policies.

All sororities at KU prohibit consumption of alcohol in their houses.

The Panhellenic Association comprises the following sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau, and Sigma Kappa.

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