Ohio University Suspends 15 Fraternities Over Hazing Allegations
Taking serious note of repeated hazing incidents, Ohio University has announced the suspension of all its 15 fraternities registered with the Interfraternity Council (IFC).
On Thursday, the school’s Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones made the decision public by handing over an indefinite suspension from engaging in all chapter events, meetings, and activities.
In May, Swarthmore College also took a similar move but harsher by banning all the fraternities and sororities on its campus, denying them any leased space following a report which found serious violations of rules and school policies.
Hall-Jones wrote a letter to the fraternity presidents and intimated them about the possible investigation against seven Greek organizations for violating student’s code of conduct.
“These troubling allegations, which will be thoroughly investigated, indicate a potentially escalating systemic culture within our IFC organizations, and Ohio University will not put at risk the health and safety of our students,” he wrote.
Ohio University is suspending ALL fraternities. I honestly do not know if this enhances their rep as one of the best party schools in the nation, or hurts it. OK, probably the former.
— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) October 4, 2019
The latest decision follows months after the school permanently expelled its Epsilon chapter of Sigma Pi for the death of 18-year-old Collin Wiant due to severe hazing in 2018.
Family members have alleged that Wiant pledges were subjected to multiple forms of hazing including excessive alcohol consumption, being beaten with belts, and sleep deprivation, among others.
Also, the school in its investigation found the fraternity involved in violating student code of conduct, including hazing, damage to property, serving alcohol, unlawful use or possession of controlled substances or drugs, allowing underage students to drink alcohol and physical harm.
“This proactive step is being taken so that the IFC community can pause to reflect and create actionable strategies for the future. To ensure the future of fraternity life on our campus, innovative practices will need to redefine our Greek community so that it positively contributes to the full well-being of students,” Hall-Jones further wrote.
In February, Wiant’s family sued the fraternity and ten other unnamed members for forcing Wiant to ingest nitrous oxide at 45 Mill Street on November 12, 2018, which led to his death. A toxicology report also found him positive for alcohol and THC in his blood at the time of his passing.