In a previous post on this website, we presented a recap of fraternity suspensions for the calendar year 2017. In today’s post, we present a summary of fraternity suspensions for the calendar first quarter of 2018 (January 1 - March 31).
During the first quarter of 2018, our database documented a total of 46 fraternity suspensions (8 temporary or “pending investigation” and 38 suspensions of at least 1 year). The “leader-board” of fraternity misconduct for this period includes the following:
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon (4 suspensions: Eastern Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, and Memphis. Also, the North Georgia chapter of SAE was placed on administrative suspension pending an investigation into violations of school hazing and alcohol policies).
- Pi Kappa Alpha (3 suspensions: Louisiana-Monroe, Memphis, and SMU).
Additionally, Pi Delta Psi was banned from new member recruitment and the establishment of new chapters on all campuses in Pennsylvania for the next 10 years after the 2013 hazing-related death of Chun Hsien (“Michael”) Deng at Baruch University's Pi Delta Psi-sponsored hazing session in the Pocono Mountains. Deng’s death led to the guilty pleas of 4 fraternity members to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Seven colleges and universities have suspended 2 or more fraternities in the 1st quarter of 2018:
- Memphis (4 suspensions: Alpha Kappa Psi, Alpha Tau Omega, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon)
- Eastern Carolina (3 suspensions: Delta Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Tau Kappa Epsilon)
- Kansas (3 suspensions: Delta Upsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. Additionally, the national headquarters of Beta Theta Pi listed its Kansas chapter as being “in danger of suspension” but did not provide a reason for doing so)
- Central Michigan (2 suspensions: Phi Kappa Tau and Pi Kappa Phi)
- Florida State (2 suspensions: Alpha Epsilon Pi and Chi Phi)
- Ohio State (2 suspensions: Sigma Alpha Mu and Tau Kappa Epsilon)
- SMU (2 suspensions: Phi Gamma Delta and Pi Kappa Alpha)
The following schools took special notice of the problem of fraternity misconduct on their campuses and took steps to limit the dangers posed by “out of control” fraternities. All the following actions were at least partially in force at some time during the 1st quarter of 2018.
On November 6, 2017 Florida State banned alcohol at all fraternities and sororities following the death by alcohol poisoning of 20-year-old Andrew Coffey at an off-campus fraternity party. The ban was lifted at the end of March 2018.
In November, TSU banned all fraternity and sorority recruitment following the death of 20-year-old Matthew Ellis from acute alcohol poisoning following an “initiation event” at an off-campus apartment. The ban was partially lifted in February 2018, but all Greek organizations were required to reapply for the school’s recognition by the end of March 2018.
Citing reports of multiple instances of fraternity misconduct, Michigan’s student-run Interfraternity Council (IFC) voted to suspend all Greek social activities until further notice on Nov. 9, 2017. The IFC said it is now doing a "chapter-by-chapter assessment and charting a safer path forward." Most restrictions had been lifted by the end of March 2018.
On November 16, 2017 Ohio State announced that it had suspended all activities of its fraternities. At the time the campus-wide suspension was announced, 11 Ohio State fraternity chapters were reportedly under investigation for allegations of hazing and alcohol policy violations. Many of the campus-wide suspensions were discontinued by early 2018.
Following the September death of Maxwell Gruver, LSU President F. King Alexander suspended all Greek activities indefinitely. LSU has since lifted most of those restrictions and has formed a “Task Force on Greek Life” to review campus culture and environment as they relate to Greek life at LSU.
The school’s Interfraternity Council voted November 27, 2017 to temporarily suspend all social and new member activities by its fraternities. The local Sigma Nu chapter had been suspended in October after violating alcohol and hazing policies. The university's Delta Tau Delta chapter was shut down in January 2018 following multiple hazing incidents. The campus-wide suspension was partially lifted by the end of March 2018.
Idaho's sororities and fraternities voted to indefinitely ban all Greek social events involving alcohol following multiple reports of hazing, sexual assault, and underage drinking at the school. The university's Interfraternity, Panhellenic and Multicultural Greek councils enacted the moratorium in votes on Dec. 11 and 12, 2017. Blaine Eckles, Idaho's dean of students, said the move was also made in response to pledge deaths and fraternity suspensions at other colleges and universities across the country. As of this writing, some aspects of the ban remain in force.
At the Doan Law Firm, we will continue to monitor the national news media for reports of fraternity hazing, host-school alcohol policy violations, and other instances of fraternity misconduct. Check back with us for updated reports and other information drawn from our fraternity hazing database.
If your son was injured as a result of a fraternity hazing incident, we invite you to contact our fraternity hazing lawyer to arrange a free review of the facts surrounding your son’s potential fraternity hazing liability case. At our firm, we will protect your son’s confidentiality during all phases of our investigation. Should you decide that our firm should represent you in your fraternity hazing/misconduct case, we will assume responsibility for all aspects (including financial) of your case in exchange for a previously-negotiated percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.