Home Campus Allegations surrounding hazing in Greek life to be released next week; reinstatements may follow

Allegations surrounding hazing in Greek life to be released next week; reinstatements may follow

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Social media concerns, criticism of the investigative proceedings and lifting suspensions dominated the Greek Life town hall and Interfraternity Council meeting Thursday night in Bentley Hall.

The meeting, hosted by Ohio University’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, was held to address the concerns of the Greek life community amid suspensions of many Ohio U organizations. At the following IFC meeting, it was announced that the blanket IFC suspension was lifted. Additionally, fraternities without a cease-and-desist order can begin the process of reinstatement and could possibly rejoin Greek life by the end of next week.

Allegations and social media:

Halfway through the night, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones announced the hazing allegations would be made public sometime next week. She said this is because of a change in the law; she said the university initially had no intention of releasing the allegations, as it has never publicly released hazing allegations in the past.

Immediately many members of Greek organizations expressed their concern for the social media and reputational damage this would cause to their organizations. The members discussed with Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, their worries about how some of these allegations may turn out to be unsubstantiated and how these organizations may suffer needless public relations damage.

Earlier in the night, Tarosky called the social media use by some members of Greek life “deplorable and reflective of the community,” bringing up the targeted statements made toward both her and Hall-Jones over the weekend.

A member of Greek life also discussed how members of the community should avoid attacking each other on Twitter, as it doesn’t create a positive image for the community.

Matt Ryan, the IFC graduate advisor, noted how the Greek community made national news for the banners they put up in support for survivors of sexual assault last year. He also went on to discuss how the ball is now in the court of the Greek Organizations in regards to their public image.

Investigative and suspension proceedings:

At the start of the night, Tarosky was asked if the university had violated the due process rights of the Greek life organizations. In response, Tarosky said the university had not violated due process rights given the systemic cultural issues within the community.

Hall-Jones later discussed how the administration coordinated the investigation with the organizations’ national chapters. She also discussed how the investigations will be limited in its efficiency because of staff constrictions.

A member of the Greek community felt the Marching 110 received special treatment because the band was allowed to participate in Homecoming Weekend events. In response, Hall-Jones said the Marching 110 counts as a three-credit-hour class, and they can’t suspend the class because of scheduling and scholarship conflicts.

The IFC:

Fraternities that remain under active investigation and have received cease-and-desist letters must still abide by the rules laid out in the initial announcement of their suspension. 

New social rules will be put in place, requiring that all events with alcohol be registered with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life. In addition, Greek organizations are limited to three events where alcohol is provided for the rest of this semester; starting spring semester, that number will go up to eight events per semester.

Additionally, the members of the IFC discussed a new “365 recruitment structure” and a new member education program. For the rest of the semester, new member education will last four weeks.

Finally, 90% of fraternities’ members are required to attend a meeting to review the conditions of reinstatement when the administration’s cease-and-desist order is lifted.

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