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Wesleyan University Suspends Greek Organization for Fraternity Hazing Associated with Coronavirus Rule Violations

Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, has suspended one of the school’s fraternities for hazing violations as of Wednesday, December 23, 2010. The suspension evidently is effective immediately, although university administration is being rather tight-lipped about the specifics surrounding the fraternity hazing incident or incidents. A spokesperson for Wesleyan University would only confirm the suspension because of fraternity hazing that somehow involved a violation of the school’s coronavirus rules for members of the student body.

When questioned about the suspension, the university refused to reveal which organization had been suspended for fraternity hazing, specifically when the suspension occurred, or how long it will remain in force. The university provided absolutely no specific details about the nature of the fraternity hazing beyond a rather opaque reference to violation of the Wesleyan University student COVID-19 policies.

Citing privacy concerns, the university further refused to reveal whether or not any individual students had been suspended or expelled as a result of the Wesleyan University fraternity hazing incident (or incidents). The school is able to suspend or expel students for fraternity hazing, depending on the severity of the activity at issue. In addition, the university is vested with authority to suspend or even expel students who violate its coronavirus policies and restrictions.

The essential requirements placed upon Wesleyan University students via the coronavirus policies include:

  • Social distancing
  • Mask wearing (when around individuals that are not immediate housemates)
  • Cap gatherings at 25 individuals
  • Notify university when traveling more than 25 miles from the school
  • Follow contact tracing rules
  • Follow COVID-19 testing requirements

Students sign what is called the COVID Agreement for Students, which encompasses these requirements with one deviation. While the university rules cap gatherings at 25, the individual agreement every student must sign caps gatherings at 10 people.

As of late December 2020, there have yet to be reported many suspensions of the nature imposed by Wesleyan University, but there have been some. In early December, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Kentucky received a two-year suspension that involved violations of the school’s alcohol and COVID-19 policies.

The suspension at the University of Kentucky didn’t specifically mention fraternity hazing, only a broader violation of alcohol and COVID policies. As part of the suspension, fraternity members are required to vacate their on-campus house.

University of Kentucky administrators announced the two-year suspension because the latest issues with the Sig Ep fraternity followed multiple others in the past couple of years. These included two incidents in the past semester alone when police were dispatched to the UK Sig Ep house because of underaged drinking.

In August, a fraternity at Furman University in South Carolina was suspended for four years. The Kappa Alpha fraternity was suspended as a result of large parties held in violation of the university’s COVID-19 policies. The university further reports that 60 percent of those students that attended the large gatherings in violation of school policy contracted COVID-19, the virus being traced back to these parties.

Because of the timing of the incidents involving students at the University of Kentucky and Furman University in South Carolina, fraternity hazing is surmised to be part of the problem. If that is the case, fraternity hazing that involves putting pledges and house members in unprotected contact with others during the COVID-19 pandemic can present an inappropriate health risk to these young people.  

If you or a member of your family is the victim of fraternity hazing, you may have suffered real injuries and damages. A fraternity hazing lawyer at The Doan Law Firm is available to explain the law in your state regarding this type of conduct. A nationwide law firm, we’ve established a fraternity hazing lawyer hotline at (800) 349-0000 that is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year, including major holidays.

We can schedule an initial consultation with a fraternity hazing lawyer at any one of our 40 offices from coast to coast. We can also arrange a virtual consultation with you online. There is no charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. We never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.

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