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University suspends all fraternity chapters amid reports of dangerous initiation rituals

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Like Nigerian universities where activities of fraternities are illegal, the Ohio University in the United States of America has suspended all 15 of its fraternity chapters amid new reports of hazing.

This is coming five months after the death of a student in an alleged hazing incident led to the expulsion of one of its fraternities.

Hazing is the imposition of strenuous, humiliating and sometimes dangerous initiation rituals and tasks on students seeking membership to a fraternity or sorority.

Ohio University Senior Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Jenny Halls-Jones made the announcement in a two-page letter sent to all IFC presidents last Thursday.

“Last Spring, Sigma Pi was expelled from our community as a result of hazing. Earlier this week, we received allegations that two IFC chapters were hazing new members and those chapters were placed on a cease and desist from Community Standards and Students Responsibility,” she said in the letter.

“Yesterday, we received reports of hazing that encompassed five more chapters,” bringing the total number of fraternities under investigation to seven, Halls-Jones said in the letter. “As a result: I am hereby suspending all chapter operations for Interfraternity Council chapters until further notice, effective immediately.”

The news comes almost a year after Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old freshman, died after allegedly being hazed by the Sigma Pi fraternity. A lawsuit by Wiant’s family claims that he died of asphyxiation after ingesting nitrous oxide forced on him by fraternity members.

Halls-Jones said the most recent allegations, which will be thoroughly investigated, indicate a potentially escalating systemic culture within Ohio University’s IFC organizations.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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