On Campus

School uses app to keep freshmen out of parties

Students worry about privacy

Photo by Brian Lane Winfield Moore on Flickr

An American university has gone to great lengths to enforce its new rule that first-semester students may not attend fraternity or sorority events.

Cornell University is releasing an ID scanning application for Apple devices. Fraternity and sorority party organizers will be required to borrowan iPod with the application installed from the school, which they’ll use at the doors of their social events. The app allows them to check student’s names, class years and whether they’ve reached 21, the legal drinking age in the U.S.

The information scanned is accessible “to a limited few in our office… and stored on a secure server with no plans to share further,” Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, told The Sun. “The use of the scanners will improve [the Greek community’s] management of risk by properly identifying the class year of attendees,” he said.

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and the Interfraternity Council aren’t happy about the new scanners, reports The Cornell Daily Sun. First, groups that have tried the scanners report technical problems and long lines to get into their parties. Second, they say, the high-tech security may scare legitimately welcome students away. Freshman Becca Lampert expressed concerns about privacy. “The idea of someone having a master list of everyone who went to a party is a little bit intimidating,” she said. “I’m no longer just responsible for myself now when I go out—I’m also responsible for the frats because they can get in trouble for my actions. That definitely makes me think twice about where I choose to go on the weekends.”

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