Greek life goes under the microscope on college campuses

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - The Ohio State University is suspending the activities of almost all it's fraternities. University administrators say there is a large number of on-going investigations into hazing and alcohol related events. So until further notice, everything is on hold.


13abc talked with the University of Toledo about it's Greek Organization policies. They tell us the term pledging has been eliminated from Greek Life at UT. Adelaide Johnson-Ghartey is a sorority member and says "There is like a whole bunch of words that were associated with pledging that we're not even allowed to use." The reason is simple, it's too closely aligned with the concept of hazing.

"I'm not surprised that this is happening," says Patrick Ryan who is a fraternity member at UT. "The Panic button is being hit at schools who have a systematic culture of substance abuse and party culture that's just so ingrained that students apply to those schools to go there."

UT Greek Life Director Alex Zernechel says the university has a zero tolerance policy for any hazing activities. "When we get any kind of a report, it immediately goes from me to our director of student conduct, we put together a team and they start investigating." says Zernechel.

Any violations result in disciplinary action. In the most severe cases students are expelled. Sammy Spann is the interim Vice President and Dean of students. He says "There's a hot line that student can call anonymously at time with hazing concerns. And parents have an open door at my office to voice their concerns about Greek Life practices." Spann goes onto say "We have our university behavior intervention which is a group of people from across the campus from the Provost Office to campus police and legal counsel. The group keeps us updated on trends."