Hazing halts Greek Life: New member activities suspended during investigation

Jessica Barnett, News Editor

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All of Greek Life is currently under investigation due to hazing allegations. 13 fraternities and 12 sororities have been ordered to suspend current pledging.

This time in the semester is the busiest for these organizations, since they are in the process of recruiting new members. Despite this, all activities were asked to be put on hold.

There are currently 700 students involved in Greek Life at Bloomsburg University: 224 students in fraternities and 476 in sororities.

“Right now, we have not specified which fraternities or sororities are under investigation,” says Dr. Somerville, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.

The university will allow pledging and new member education activities to continue once the investigation has concluded.

“I really think we believe that we are doing the right thing regarding getting an internal investigation, putting a pause on the new member involvement of Greek Life to see what comes out,” says Somerville. Bloomsburg University released a statement on this issue, saying “The university is aware of recent allegations of hazing within our Greek community.”

 “Bloomsburg University takes all allegations of hazing seriously. Given the gravity of these alleged incidents, we are launching an external investigation.”

Prior to this investigation, there was a study conducted on all Greek Life in the fall of 2017. The purpose of this review was to “determine the impact of sorority and fraternity chapters on the BU campus community and to identify successes, challenges, limitations in the Greek Life program, as well as provide recommendations for improvement.”

This review was done by the AASCU Penson Center for Professional Development. This test is performed every five years to check on the status of the Greek community.

This study initiated a “search process of an Associate Director of Student Union and Campus Life, which would oversee Greek Affairs and also Kehr Union and Student Activities responsibilities”, says Director of Media Relations and Content Strategy Tom McGuire.

Conducting this review costs around $22,500, which comes out of the university’s  funds.

This investigation of Greek Life at BU began two weeks ago and there has been no information released regarding how long it will last. “It really depends on the investigators and what they find,” says Somerville.

Bloomsburg has received allegations regarding hazing in the past. However, this is the first time where the school had to pursue an internal investigation.

“The university has always addressed hazing allegations. In previous instances allegations were always followed up, but not to this degree,” says Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs James McCormack.

Pledging for Greek life this semester has been put on hold for now until the investigators come to a conclusion. The sole purpose of this investigation is to ensure the safety of all students involved in Greek Life.

“It really is just about the safety and well-being of the Greek community as a whole, getting students the opportunity to get the best out of Greek life,” comments Somerville.

McCormack also says that there is a great value to having our Greek system, and it needs to be safe for everyone involved.
Students in Greek organizations are anticipating the conclusion of this investigation so they can continue new member activities.