Ohio University suspended all fraternities Thursday, citing a “growing concern elevated by allegations of hazing” against seven chapters made this week.
The decision comes about 11 months after Collin Wiant was found dead in the annex of Sigma Pi house, the fraternity he was pledging, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Wiant’s parents filed a wrongful death suit earlier this year, accusing fraternity members of deadly hazing.
In a letter to all Interfraternity Council presidents to announce the suspensions, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones wrote that the “troubling allegations” of hazing made this week “indicate a potentially escalating systemic culture within our (Interfraternity Council), and Ohio University will not put at risk the health and safety of our students.”
Ohio University’s Interfraternity Council is the governing body for 15 member fraternities and nearly 1,000 affiliated members, according to the school’s website.
Judson Horras, the president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, criticized the suspensions in an emailed statement to the Enquirer.
“Hazing is a serious societal issue, and we strongly believe in holding individuals accountable,” he said. “However, Ohio University’s suspension that impacts students not accused of misconduct is not the right approach to address this critical issue. It disincentivizes students who are following the rules.”
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SOURCE: USA Today; Cincinnati Enquirer, Max Londberg