- Monmouth University in New Jersey indefinitely suspended all fraternity and sorority activities not related to education after the college's Greek Senate failed to sufficiently address serious conduct violations including hazing, drug and alcohol use, and a lack of academic focus.
- Administrators said suspending Greek life activities, including parties, community service events and recruitment efforts, is necessary to create a healthier and more productive learning environment for students involved in the college's seven fraternities and nine sororities.
- The Greek Senate may submit a new plan to address the conduct violations by Oct. 15.
Monmouth University is not the first higher education institution to take such drastic measures to curb conduct violations related to hazing, sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse within Greek life on campus. Several institutions have recently suspended or made significant changes to the administration of Greek life groups in the aftermath of alcohol-related deaths on campus.
For example, after a freshman pledge at West Virginia University died in 2014 as a result of hazing activities, university officials instituted new rules governing Greek life activities, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The university also delayed fall recruitment dates for sororities and fraternities in order to give students more time to acclimate to the campus, and they added card scanners at fraternity houses to monitor student access.
And last fall, Florida State University temporarily banned all fraternities and sororities following the death of a student after a fraternity party. The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity pledge was at the party about a mile from campus, according to USA Today, and died the next day. The university lifted the ban in January with new rules governing Greek life on campus.
Still, some higher education officials are questioning whether it is worth continuing support Greek life activities on campus.
For many officials, the problem is a daunting one due to the sheer size of the Greek community on their campuses. At large colleges such as those in the Big 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference, as much as 30-40% of the student body can be involved in Greek organizations, according to US News & World Report.
Additionally, many Greek participants are strong contributors to the campus community, particularly after graduation. At Indiana University, for example, Greek life members make up 19% of the alumni donor database but 60% of all donations.
Leaders from colleges across the country are meeting to discuss what they can do to bring the problem under control.