University of Maryland lifts restrictions on fraternities, sororities; continues investigation into 5

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC News Now) — In a letter to the community on Friday, the University of Maryland (UMD) announced that it was lifting restrictions on fraternities and sororities at College Park.

This comes weeks after the university first commanded fraternities and sororities to stop holding social activities “indefinitely” amid allegations of misconduct.

Thirty-two chapters had all restrictions lifted, but UMD said that it would continue its investigation into five chapters because of “evidence suggesting involvement in hazing or other incidents that threatened the health and safety of our campus community.”

In its letter, UMD said that those chapters still under investigation would still have some restrictions on their activities.

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UMD first sent a letter to Greek organizations on March 1, saying that all new member activities were suspended and that all organizations were prohibited from hosting any events — both on or off-campus — with alcohol present.

That original letter said that “multiple chapters” at the school “have been conducting activities that have threatened the safety and well-being of members of the University community.”

The Washington Post reported that the order followed concerns about hazing during pledge events and other parties.

On March 13, a group of students and fraternities had filed a petition for a temporary restraining order against UMD administrators because of this decision.

In the latest letter, UMD said that it would be taking steps to continue addressing concerns about hazing at the campus.

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“For all fraternities and sororities, we remain cautious, watchful and deeply committed to safety and well-being,” Friday’s letter said.

Going forward, UMD said it would be taking immediate action by starting a fraternity and sorority life working group, reviewing all existing IFC and PHA training programs, expanding mechanisms to report hazing instances or other concerns and reviewing how the Code of Student Conduct addresses hazing and alcohol-related incidents.

UMD also said that it would work on more opportunities for chapter members to be educated on alcohol and drug use. Leadership with the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life would also work to improve partnership and communication.

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