Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Milk flows freely at fraternity party

A fraternity party without beer?

Meet the men of Phi Kappa Theta.

The fraternity's chapter at Keene State College kept the refreshments tame at a social Monday night: Members served milk and cookies.

"Phi Kappa really went on a limb to do this," said James Matthews, the school's drug and alcohol educator. "I imagine they took some grief for it, students calling them the milk-and-cookies boys.

"I have a lot of respect for them because they were willing to break the mold, to run the risk of being called uncool."

But uncool had its upside: Women loved it.

"I think it's a great idea," said Donna Sullivan, president of Sigma Rho, one of three sororities that attended. "There aren't a lot of non-alcoholic parties like this."

Fraternity member Michael Whittaker said the party went well, and guests, once they got over their surprise, liked the refreshments.

"A lot of people get sick of the same old party scene," Whittaker said. "This is something different. It's not the typical social event, where everybody gets polluted."

The idea for a non-alcoholic fraternity social came from the University of Oregon, Matthews said.

When Matthews suggested the same for Keene State, "the students would just sort of smile and let the idea go," he said. "They didn't want to be the first."

As an incentive, Keene State's office of academic affairs picked up the tab.