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UMD Lifts Suspension of New Member, Alcohol-Related Activities for 32 Fraternities, Sororities

By Maryland Today Staff

Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo sent the following email to the campus community on Friday afternoon:

On Friday, March 1, the university's Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life (DFSL) and the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) paused Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association (PHA) new member activities and social activities where alcohol was present. All other activities, including philanthropic activities, service and chapter meetings were permitted to continue as scheduled.

What Prompted Our Actions
This temporary and narrow pause was prompted by reports, over a relatively short period of time, of concerning hazing behaviors and harmful alcohol-related activities within the fraternity and sorority community. These behaviors and activities posed a potential threat to the safety and well-being of members of our community. We recognize that temporarily pausing select activities has had an effect on our fraternity and sorority members, particularly new members. However, we chose a course of action that prioritized safety and prevention, with the aim of assessing the reports we had received and preventing a significant health and safety incident from occurring.

How the Investigation Was Completed
With the assistance of InCompliance, a consulting firm that specializes in these types of reviews, we moved quickly to collect and assess information about all allegations and reports. This included conducting over 150 interviews with leaders and members from our IFC and PHA communities. We also reviewed feedback submitted anonymously and accounts offered by concerned constituents, families and alumni. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this process.

Effective immediately, we are lifting the temporary pause on new member and alcohol-related activities, and related no-contact orders which the university issued on March 1, 2024. Thirty-two IFC and PHA chapters are cleared to return to normal activities.

As a result of evidence suggesting involvement in hazing or other incidents that threatened the health and safety of our campus community, the university is continuing its investigation of five chapters through the Office of Student Conduct. These chapters will continue to be subject to limited restrictions on their activities while the investigation continues. In addition, individual students will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for potential violations of the Code of Student Conduct.

Next Steps
For all fraternities and sororities, we remain cautious, watchful and deeply committed to safety and well-being. The assessment revealed areas of ongoing concern within IFC and PHA chapters that we believe necessitate a more comprehensive and deliberate review of fraternity and sorority life. We want to lift up the many positive aspects of our fraternities and sororities and lay the groundwork for this important part of campus life to flourish. To that end, we are taking the following immediate actions:

  • Fraternity and Sorority Life Working Group – We will assemble a working group of students, staff, faculty, and alumni to assess ways we can improve safety and well-being, and foster a culture of integrity and accountability.

  • Training Review – We will conduct a comprehensive review of all existing IFC and PHA training programs on recruitment and alcohol-related activities to address gaps and reinforce healthy behaviors.

  • Reporting – We will establish expanded reporting mechanisms for students, faculty, staff, families and alumni to share possible instances of hazing or other concerns in real time.

  • Student Conduct – We will review the Code of Student Conduct, as it relates to hazing and alcohol-related incidents to align with best practices.

  • Partnership and Communication – The Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life leadership will continue to identify ways to work and facilitate communication with chapter advisors and national organization leadership on matters related to our fraternity and sorority community.

  • Alcohol and Other Drug Education – We will develop more comprehensive and evidence-based educational opportunities for all chapter members regarding alcohol and other drug use.

Our Continued Commitment
Fraternity and Sorority Life has been an essential part of our university’s campus for over 100 years. From the founding of the very first chapter in 1913, the commitment to the values remains strong and resolute. It is a commitment to brotherhood and sisterhood, service, scholarship, and philanthropy, and a sincere belief that fraternities and sororities have the potential to be a transformative part of the university experience.

We will continue our work together to create and preserve a healthy environment for all. In no uncertain terms, we are committed to fraternity and sorority life at the University of Maryland.


Patty Perillo

Patricia A. Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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