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BGSU suspends Greek life social events both on and off-campus until further notice

Bowling Green State University's campus in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Bowling Green State University's campus in Bowling Green, Ohio.(WTVG)
Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 10:19 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - A fraternity at BGSU is on an interim suspension after allegations of hazing that left one student hospitalized.

Now the university is pausing all Greek life social events both on and off-campus while student leaders and school administrators look at the future of fraternities and sororities at the University. Effective at midnight, the university is interimly suspending all new member intake processes and on and off-campus social events of all four Greek councils at BGSU.

In a letter sent out to students, BGSU President Dr. Rodney Rogers, explained that while the situation with Phi Kappa Alpha is still unfolding and the investigation is underway, the situation is prompting a conversation on how these fraternities and sororities operate and ensure increased accountability that hazing has no place at BGSU.

The temporary pause will remain in place until each chapter “individually and successfully works with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of the Dean on students on comprehensive plans to safely restart.”

Here is a copy of the letter:

“Yesterday, Bowling Green State University placed Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on interim suspension for alleged hazing activity. Clearly, this is an unfolding situation, one where we do not know all the facts. Not only are we continuing to work with local law enforcement, who are actively taking the lead in investigating this situation, we will also be pursuing our own student code of conduct investigation, including both the fraternity and students involved.

While fraternity and sorority life has been woven into the fabric of higher education, we must act and respond today to this tragic incident. All day, student leaders from the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, College Panhellenic Conference, Undergraduate Student Government and the undergraduate student representative to the Board of Trustees worked with staff members to begin to address the short- and long-term future of fraternity and sorority life at Bowling Green State University.

Planning and dialogue continue, and more decisions need to be made. However, together, we made progress today. Effective at midnight, the University is interimly suspending all new member intake processes and on- and off-campus social events of chapters in all four Greek councils stated above. Understanding the impact this has on chapter operations, the University will be meeting with their student leadership.

These measures will be enforced until each chapter individually and successfully works with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of the Dean of Students on comprehensive plans to safely restart. To do so, chapters may continue to conduct organization-wide and executive board meetings virtually with pre-approval from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Over the next week, Greek student leaders, along with our staff, will shape the framework of these plans to provide for increased accountability and to ensure hazing has no place at Bowling Green State University. We will also increase our work with our Greek national headquarter offices on safety and anti-hazing efforts.

In addition, recognizing that hazing may not be limited to this single incident and to promote more accountability and transparency, the University will consult with outside third parties to conduct a broader review of student organizations and activities.

Hazing is a national problem going beyond fraternities and sororities. BGSU has put in safeguards, policies, protocols and processes, and support services to combat hazing. These University processes and policies have been established to set high expectations and standards and to enforce compliance and ensure the safety of all students. Clearly, we remain committed to improving, even working to address off-campus and nonsanctioned events. We will step up our efforts – increasing education, enhancing support and reporting outlets, reviewing internal processes, evaluating recruitment structures, and elevating outreach and communication campaigns.

We believe Bowling Green State University is a community where each of us belongs. That requires a commitment to ensuring everyone is safe and welcome. Let us be clear: We recognize that not all students involved in Greek life are contributing to hazing. We value our students engaged in Greek life and the home that they have found in their organizations, and we wish for a community that includes a vibrant fraternity and sorority life. Hard work lies ahead. We need to come together to demand better, and this is just the start.”

Regards,

Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D. President

Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

In addition, on behalf of Bowling Green State University, Alex Solis, deputy chief of staff and University spokesperson, issued the following statement on Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity residential letters today:

“Bowling Green State University has placed Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on interim suspension for alleged hazing activity. Local law enforcement and University investigations continue. Given that Pi Kappa Alpha is not currently recognized as a registered student organization, the fraternity’s Greek letters were removed from its on-campus residence this morning.”

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