Ohio University Launches Campus-Wide Fraternity Hazing Crackdown
Here at The Doan Law Firm, we routinely monitor the national news media for reports describing how colleges and universities respond to reports of on-campus hazing incidents. In today’s post, we are pleased to note that another school has chosen to take drastic action to curb irresponsible activities by its student organizations. Unfortunately, that action has come too late for one freshman and his family.
Ohio University has suspended all fraternities that are members of its Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC); two professional fraternities; three sororities; its marching band, and the school’s men’s rugby team after it received “credible reports” of hazing and other misconduct involving the suspended organizations.
According to WOUB Public Media, on October 3rd OU Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones informed the IFC that “Earlier this week, we received allegations that two IFC chapters were hazing new members and those chapters were placed on a cease and desist from Community Standards and Student Responsibility (CSSR) … Yesterday, we received reports of hazing that encompassed five more chapters. Those chapters will be receiving their notice of investigation and cease and desist letters from CSSR within the next few days.”
The school’s “Marching 110” band will be allowed to perform at athletic events and other commitments, but it must cease all “non-academic” activities. At Ohio University, band members receive college credit hours for participating in band activities, so what this suspension may actually involve is unclear.
On October 17th, Cleveland.com reported that a second professional fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, IFC member Pi Kappa Phi, and the OU men’s rugby team were ordered to “cease and desist” after OU received complaints regarding possible hazing. Under the cease and desist order, the suspended organizations are not allowed to meet in any capacity until the investigations have been completed. A second professional fraternity, Pi Chi Theta, was suspended earlier this month.
The recent suspensions come one year after an OU freshman, Colin Wiant, was found dead inside the local Sigma Pi Epsilon fraternity house. According to a lawsuit filed against Sigma Pi and ten “John Doe” defendants by Wiant’s parents, Colin died from asphyxiation brought on by being forced to inhale nitrous oxide. According to court documents, Colin Wiant had also been forced to consume alcohol and/or drugs and was seen in the company of fraternity members at two local nightclubs on the evening of his death although he was not of legal drinking age. The Sigma Pi fraternity was later expelled from campus and is prohibited from reapplying for status as a “recognized” student organization.
As a personal injury law firm that represents victims of hazing and other types of fraternity misconduct, we at The Doan Law Firm can assure you that most acts of hazing go unreported. In those instances were a formal hazing complaint is filed with a school’s administration, the host school will usually do their best to keep any hazing investigation out of the local and national news media by citing “privacy” or “student confidentiality” issues.
If your child was injured in an accident involving fraternity misconduct, we invite you to contact our fraternity hazing lawyer for a free, confidential review of the facts in your child’s case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you and your son or daughter. After your free consultation with our fraternity hazing lawyer, should you decide that a lawsuit is in order against those responsible for your child’s injuries, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for a percentage of the settlement that we will win for you.