Ohio State University suspended most of its fraternities Thursday amid investigations of hazing and alcohol violations at many chapters, the latest school to crack down on Greek life on campus.
The university announced all Interfraternity Council chapters — which make up most of the traditional male fraternities on the public university’s flagship campus in Columbus — would have to stop recruitment and all social activities immediately. The step was taken because the school is investigating more cases of possible student conduct violations at those chapters than it has in recent years, with nearly a third of the 37 chapters already under scrutiny this semester.
Most of the cases involve hazing or alcohol or both. “The university will not tolerate behavior that puts the health and safety of its students at risk,” spokesman David Isaacs said in a written statement Thursday. He said the action would allow the Greek community “to pause to reflect” and to create their own plans to ensure their chapters’ culture is in sync with both their national organizations and the values of Ohio State.
The president of the Interfraternity Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Several schools have announced sanctions or changes to Greek life in recent months, some prompted by deaths on campus.
This month, both Texas State University and Florida State University suspended fraternities and sororities after pledges died.
At Penn State University, school officials announced changes to Greek life this summer after the February death of a 19-year-old student who had pledged a now-disbanded fraternity.
Ohio State’s student newspaper, the Lantern, reported that rumors about a possible suspension had been swirling all semester and that many of the fraternities under investigation had been suspended in the past.
Drew Cooper, the president of the Ohio State University Interfraternity Council, said in a statement Thursday night: “The health and safety of members of the Ohio State community is our top priority. We commit to collaborating with parents, the University, chapters, and their national or international headquarters to enhance safety and accountability in our Ohio State fraternity system. We will continue to advocate for the advancement of tangible solutions to the problems that exist within our community.”
Sarah Larimer contributed to this report.