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Social suspensions lifted for 12 fraternities

A week and a half after Miami's Interfraternity Council (IFC) announced a sweeping social suspension due to hazing allegations, 12 chapters are now cleared to operate as usual.

The suspensions were lifted from chapters that did not have allegations of hazing against them, said IFC president Stephen Golonka.

The 12 chapters are: Beta Theta Pi (Beta), Alpha Chi Rho, Delta Tau Delta (Delt), Delta Sigma Phi (Delta Sig), Chi Psi, Delta Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), Delta Upsilon (DU), Alpha Epsilon Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha (Lambda Chi), Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) and Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapp).

The chapters were told on either Thursday or Friday of last week that their suspensions had been lifted, Golonka said. Suspensions are being lifted on an individual basis, but there is no timetable for the length of the suspensions on Miami's 12 other recognized fraternities.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, IFC announced that all fraternity activities were prohibited due to multiple reports of hazing.

Chapters were also required to end their new member period early and initiate their newly recruited members by 5 p.m. that Friday, Feb. 23.

The 12 chapters which remain under suspension include the six which had cease-and-desist orders filed against them by their national organizations: Alpha Delta Phi (AD Phi), Alpha Sigma Phi (Alpha Sig), Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt), Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).

These orders prohibit fraternities from holding events, parties or membership activities while the representatives from the national organizations investigate the chapters.

These chapters were also prohibited from initiating their new members.

In addition to investigations made by national fraternity organizations, Miami's Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR) has been investigating the reports of hazing.

Since early February, 16 Greek organizations have been named in reports, said OESCR director Susan Vaughn. The office called in outside help last week to assist its single Title IX investigator, former Miami Residence Life director Gerald Olson.

By the end of this week, Vaughn expects the office will have conducted about 175 individual interviews.

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"Following the interviews, information is evaluated, and a determination made as to whether or not additional investigation is necessary or charges against an organization or individual are warranted," Vaughn said.

Vaughn declined to disclose any details of specific hazing allegations while the investigations are ongoing.

The reports of hazing have come from anonymous, third-party sources, which has prohibited police from pursuing investigations, said Oxford Police Chief John Jones.

Miami uses an online portal, EthicsPoint, which allows students and faculty to make anonymous reports of misconduct.

The reports made have been shared with police, Jones said, but without named complainants, the information was not detailed enough to pursue from a police standpoint.

Officers visited a few fraternities, Jones said, but police involvement with the suspensions is low right now.

"We are not actively investigating," Jones said.

The temporary social suspension will continue to be managed by IFC, said Jennifer Levering, director of Student Activities.