Two fraternities have officially been suspended by officials at Miami University in Ohio, while a third fraternity was placed on probation, for hazing and conduct violations.
Investigations conducted by the school discovered that members of the Sigma Nu fraternity were forcing pledges to keep track on their chests of how many beers they consumed, encouraging them to drink 100. The fraternity was also accused of prohibiting their pledges from shaving or showering, during which time photos were taken of them and shared through Snapchat and text message. The fraternity, already on probation prior to the investigation, is suspended through 2018.
Phi Kappa Si will be suspended through 2019 as a result of “inappropriate” photos being taken of one individual without their permission during an event where alcohol was being served to minors. The chapter is no longer recognized by the national organization.
Meanwhile, Kappa Sigma was put on probation after university officials discovered members were forcing pledges to participate in 3:30 am workouts lasting for hours at a time, to clean the rooms of other members, and to purchase food for members.
Jayne Brownell, vice president for student affairs, discussed the suspensions, calling them “unfortunate,” and reiterated that hazing was not an acceptable practice at the school.
“It is unfortunate when those actions require the closing of a chapter or organization, but the safety and well-being of our students is too important to risk doing anything less,” Brownell said in a statement. “The university also actively educates about and enforces alcohol laws and university policies, for the safety and health of our students and others,” Brownell said.
Appeals made by Sigma Nu and Phi Kappa Si were overturned in June and July. Six other fraternities are currently not recognized by the university, meaning they are unable to make use of on-campus facilities and are not offered university funds, writes Keith BieryGolick for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Over 40 fraternities and sororities are recognized by the university, with around one-third of the student population taking part in Greek life.
A crackdown on hazing has occurred across the nation in an effort to reform Greek life on college campuses. Photographs of nude, unconscious women were posted on a private Facebook page at Pennsylvania State University in March, and more recently, the Sigma Nu chapter at Old Dominion University found themselves at the center of controversy after hanging demeaning banners from the windows of their house on move-in day, writes Corey Fedde for The Christian Science Monitor.
The heightened scrutiny has also led to an increase in false accusations concerning Greek life. In 2014, an article in Rolling Stone featured the University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi in an alleged rape case that was later found by the police to have no evidence to support the accusations.