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- In the past two weeks, several hazing allegations have been brought against social groups at Ohio University, resulting in the college suspending all of its 15 social fraternities, three sororities, a professional fraternity, and the marching band.
- After OU's Sorority & Fraternity Life Office held informational sessions about what hazing is and how to report it for fraternities in the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Women's Panhellenic Association (WPA) during the last week of September, complaints of hazing allegations began rolling in.
- Within a 48-hour period, initial allegations were leveled against seven IFC fraternities, and the university responded with a blanket suspension and two cease-and-desist letters to the ACACIA and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternities.
- Since then, hazing allegations against the Ohio University Marching Band and six more Greek organizations have been received, bringing the total number of student groups disciplined for possible hazing to up to 20.
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Hazing allegations against student groups at Ohio University continue to roll in, and the university has responsed by suspending all 15 chapters of the Interfraternity Council (IFC), three sororities in the Women's Panhellenic Association (WPA), a professional fraternity, and the Marching 110 band.
The initial complaints stemmed from a Greek Life initiative to educate students about what hazing was and how to report it. The last week of September, the Sorority & Fraternity Life Office at OU initiated events for National Hazing Prevention Week for both IFC and WPA members.
After that, allegations against the first seven fraternities were submitted within a 48-hour period, and the university responded with a blanket suspension of the entire IFC. Two cease-and-desist letters were issued to the ACACIA and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternities, that described the behavior detailed in the complaints as such that would put the "health and safety" of students at risk.
That was just the beginning. In the past week, two more IFC fraternities, three sororities, a business fraternity (Pi Chi Theta), and the Ohio University Marching Band have all been accused of hazing. The organizations have all been named, minus the most recently accused fraternity.
The Marching 110 band isn't the first university band to be accused of hazing. The Virginia State University marching band was expelled for hazing violations the Monday before OU's allegations surfaced. In May, University of California at Davis suspended its marching band after allegations of misconduct that included hazing.
In a statement, a university spokesperson wrote "At this time, we do not have reason to believe there is a systemic culture issue within the Women's Panhellenic Association organizations nor within our professional fraternal organizations. However, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and the University reserves the right to take additional action as needed at any time."
For IFC fraternities that have not been accused, the university is allowing those chapters to meet to create action plans that can be submitted to OU to determine whether they can come off suspension. The Marching 110 band is still performing in upcoming Homecoming celebrations because performances are part of the band's class credit.
However, the band has been issued a university directive to cease all "non-academic group activities." The university will be investigating all of the accused student groups for possible violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Ohio University Police Department has reviewed or is currently reviewing all hazing accusations to determine whether actionable criminal conduct took place, and has not yet identified any.
The OU suspensions were preceded by an alleged hazing death. In April, the university expelled the Sigma Pi fraternity on campus after the death of 18-year-old Collin Wiant, whose family's legal representation alleges was a pledge of the fraternity at the time of his death. Wiant died of nitrous-oxide asphyxiation at an off-campus house known as the unofficial Sigma Pi annex.