10 Panhellenic chapters

Duke Suspends Sororities After Drinking Incident Hospitalizes Girl, Then Ease Sorority Ban

Ten Duke University sororities were suspended after a student was sent to the hospital after an alcohol-infused incident at a party. The unidentified student remains in critical condition but is expected to make a full recovery, according to university officials.

Duke University is home to 18 sorority chapters. According to the campus newspaper, the Chronicle, the female student had recently joined one of the college’s 10 Panhellenic sororities. The name of the sorority the young woman had joined has not yet been released to the public.

All Duke sorority activities have reportedly been suspended until further notice. The Panhellenic executive board was scheduled to meet yesterday to discuss the drinking incident that sent the female sorority sister to the hospital. A review of the university’s expectations for sorority chapters and their members were among the issues discussed. Making sure that all sorority activities adhered to campus policies was also on the meeting agenda, USA Today reports.

Here’s an excerpt from the statement released by the Duke Panhellenic board.

“Duke has suspended all sorority activity until further notice due to concerns about activities that have taken place during the most recent rush and bid periods, heightened by the hospitalization of a student for an alcohol-related issue. That student is expected to recover fully. The university’s student affairs staff is meeting with all 10 chapter presidents and the Panhellenic Executive Board to review Duke’s expectations for all sororities and their members, and each chapter will be asked to review its activities to ensure compliance with policies on social events, rush, and alcohol use. The health, well-being and safety of our students is the highest priority, and we look forward to working with the sorority leaders toward that end.”

The Duke sorority sister was sent to the hospital at the end of what is commonly called “rush” week. According to a Fox News report, all of Duke University’s 18 sororities held their week-long recruitment drive earlier this month with “bid” day, the day of member selection, being held on January 24.

Duke’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Larry Moneta, announced on Thursday morning that the sorority ban has been eased. Chapters on the North Carolina campus can now host “sisterhood” events, chapter meetings, community or charity activities, and study breaks.

“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,” Moneta said in a statement shared by WRAL News. “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.”

The statement from the Duke University official also went on to say that everyone at the emergency meeting with the Panhellenic board agreed that what happened at the sorority event that sent the student to the hospital was “unacceptable.” Moneta added that steps to prevent any further such incidents would be put into place on the campus very soon. According to the college student affairs vice president, the women involved with the sororities are committed to creating long-lasting “reforms” in their respective groups and to hold future conversations within the chapter system to identify “specific and actionable” plans in the coming days and weeks, Moneta concluded.

All of the sanctions levied against the 10 Duke sororities are expected to be lifted in the near future.

[Image via Bryan Pollard/Shutterstock.com]

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