The Ohio State University has indefinitely suspended 37 fraternities on campus, effective immediately. The suspension includes all social, recruitment and new member activities.
In a statement, Office of Student Life spokesperson Dave Isaacs said that this semester, the university is investigating the most cases in recent years of Student Conduct violations from chapters of the Interfraternity Council.
"[Eleven] of the 37 IFC chapters have been under investigation since the school year began," Isaacs wrote. "The majority of these cases involve hazing and/or alcohol. The university will not tolerate behavior that puts the health and safety of its students at risk."
The suspension does not apply to the 17 campus sororities that make up Ohio State's Panhellenic Association, Isaacs said, none of which have been under investigation this semester. The culture- and service-oriented chapters of the Multicultural Greek Council are exempt from the suspension as well.
Isaacs said the step is being taken as a "proactive" measure based on the high number of investigations, rather than a response to any particular case.
A letter to IFC chapter presidents from Ryan Lovell, Ohio State's director of sorority and fraternity life, said that chapters will be allowed to participate in "essential activities" such as standing meetings or long-standing philanthropic events, but not in social activities or any events that include alcohol.
"The Greek community at Ohio State has a long and rich tradition of leadership, service and brotherhood/sisterhood," Lovell said. "However, when individual members or organizations fail to live up to the standards and values set forth by the university, your chapters and your international organizations, the entire Greek community suffers."
IFC chapters are required to provide a list of essential activities to the Sorority and Fraternity Life staff by November 20.
"To be direct, we expect the Interfraternity Council community to join together and become a full partner in creating a culture that truly reflects the values of the Ohio State Greek community," Lovell said.
The university did not provide additional information on how long the suspensions will last, or what factors will be considered in lifting the ban.
About 2,400 students are members of fraternities at Ohio State, or about one in 10 male undergraduate students.