Fraternities are America’s great menace, but is weed to blame? According to administrators at the University of Alabama, sure. AL.com reports that the university has been “quietly” drug testing frat bros since the beginning of the school year as part of “a strict new anti-drug effort.”
Beyond confirming to AL.com that it is testing some members of Greek organizations, the university declined to comment about the new drug testing program. According to the site, however, brothers in at least two fraternities—Sigma Nu and Sigma Alpha Epsilon—have been routinely tested this year. Sigma Nu president Clyde Yelverton told AL.com that five percent of his brothers submit to urine drug testing through the university each week. Bros who fail or miss tests are subject to to “penalties and punishments that differ based on a number of factors ranging from substance abuse history to the type of drug detected.”
Though it’s not unheard of for fraternities to test members for drugs, this kind of mandatory, university-sponsored program is unusual. Fraternity consultant David Westol told AL.com, “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.”
The University of Alabama should be pleased to learn then that its drug testing program has been successful... in that it’s gotten frat bros off pot and into harder stuff like Xanax, which flushes out of the system more quickly. Current UA student and former active Sigma Nu brother James Blackwood told the site, “People can beat Xanax because it goes through your system in three days. That’s why there’s so much.” He continued:
There’s this one fraternity—really well-known on campus, attracted a lot of attention—that started getting drug-tested and it’s still talked about how this fraternity went from, like, a group of guys who functioned normally and held high position among the university and then they all just became ‘bartards’—that’s the term for people who eat Xanax bars. They all went from just, you know, regular college guys to just zombies, all doing Xanax because they couldn’t smoke pot and stuff so it was the only thing they could do.