'Effective immediately': University of Maryland frats, sororities suspended amid hazing probe

Greek life is on an indefinite halt at the University of Maryland as the school investigates possible hazing within fraternities and sororities on its campus.

The college announced the suspension Friday in a letter saying it believes "multiple chapters within the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Council (PHA) have been conducting activities that have threatened the safety and well-being of members of the University community."

The university did not thoroughly detail the unsafe activities but said an emergency meeting occurred Thursday with fraternity and sorority leadership. Greek life was notified during the meeting how more "allegations of misconduct may result in a cease and desist of activities for one or multiple councils."

"Despite that warning, additional incidents regarding fraternity and sorority organizations were reported today," the university said. "Therefore, effective immediately, all IFC and PHA new member program activities are suspended indefinitely, pending the results of a thorough investigation."

Cheerleaders assemble outside Reckord Armory Oct. 27, 2023 on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park for a launch event for the Maryland Service Year Option program.
Cheerleaders assemble outside Reckord Armory Oct. 27, 2023 on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park for a launch event for the Maryland Service Year Option program.

Greek life can't communicate with new members, the college says

In addition to the suspension, the school said all fraternities and sororities are on social moratorium indefinitely. A social moratorium bans chapters from hosting on or off-campus events where alcohol is present, according to the school.

Current fraternity and sorority members also can have "absolutely no contact with any new member or prospective new member," the college said.

"This directive means that every current member of the organization must not contact any new member or prospective new member via in-person, telephone, postal mail, any electronic means (including social media), or third-party communication," according to the university.

Any failure to follow the college's suspension guidelines will result in "disciplinary action," the school said.

Once officials are done investigating, a decision will be handed down for the sororities and fraternities on campus, according to the university.

UVA fraternities received suspension a week earlier after a student was injured

The news in Maryland comes a week after the Univerity of Virginia suspended recruit activities for its 30 fraternities.

According to a statement on Feb. 27, the school said it was aware of an incident involving a student occurring Feb. 21 and an investigation has been launched alongside state authorities.

"Our primary concern is the health and well-being of the individual involved, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to the affected individual, their family, and loved ones during this time," the school said in the statement.

Hazing: Laws on hazing are on the books in most states. They don't protect equally

The decision to suspend recruit activities for three weeks was "made as a commitment to anti-hazing efforts and out of respect for the ongoing situation," according to the university.

The college's spokesperson, Bethanie Glover, told People Magazine that “UVA has recently suspended the University’s recognition of the Kappa Sigma fraternity as University Police investigate allegations that hazing led to the injury of one student.”

“The University does not tolerate hazing activity, and we act quickly to investigate and pursue necessary disciplinary action when reports are made,” Glover told the outlet in a statement.

Jonathan Limehouse covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at JLimehouse@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maryland frats, sororities suspended over unsafe activities on campus