​Duke Suspends Sororities Following Alcohol-Related Incident During Event On University Campus

Duke Suspends Sororities
Author: Kara GilmourBy:
Staff Reporter
Jan. 28, 2016

Duke suspends sororities following an alcohol-related incident that occurred during a rush event held Tuesday night. Duke University officials then announced Wednesday night that sanctions were “partially lifted” following an emergency meeting with the Panhellenic Executive Board and 10 Panhellenic chapter presidents, according to FOX News.

According to an email sent out Wednesday, a new sorority member was hospitalized overnight and was listed in critical condition, which prompted officials to enforce the suspensions. The student is expected to fully recover. A number of incidents involving Duke sororities have caused concern, university officials said.

Duke suspends sororities amid alcohol-related incident

Duke suspends sororities amid alcohol-related incident

A spokesperson for the elite private university in North Carolina said the president of the panhellenic council and dean of students would not be available to discuss the Duke suspensions until after the meeting with chapter presidents and the panhellenic executive board.

As Duke suspends sororities, many students didn’t agree, but Larry Moneta, Duke’s vice president for student affairs, said chapters may host events including study breaks, sisterhood events, chapter meetings and philanthropy/community service activities.

“A candid and productive conversation focused on steps that can be taken to undermine a social culture, not unique to Duke, that is excessively focused on alcohol use and abuse,” Monteta said in a statement. “All agreed that what happened last night was unacceptable and that steps must be taken to prevent any similar recurrence. The women committed to focusing on lasting reforms within their own communities and all agreed to engage in further conversations within the sorority system and among all students at Duke with a goal of identifying specific and actionable proposals for the immediate future.”

Moneta said he expects further sanctions to be lifted in the near future for Duke sororities. “The health, well being and safety of our students is the highest priority, and we look forward to working with sorority leaders toward that end,” Moneta said.

The Duke suspensions came after a new member found themselves in critical condition in the hospital. The incident is being investigated, according to an email addressed to Duke’s Panhellenic community and signed by Clarybel Peguero, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Anya Ranganathan, president of Panhellenic Council.

Panhellenic Council

After the meeting Wednesday evening, a university spokesperson wrote that they had a “candid and productive conversation focused on steps that can be taken to undermine a social culture, not unique to Duke, that is excessively focused on alcohol use and abuse. All agreed that what happened last night was unacceptable and that steps must be taken to prevent any similar recurrence.”

While Duke suspends sororities, most members were committed to make lasting change and identify specific ideas to start making reforms quickly.

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