Cornell has announced that one fraternity has been placed on suspended status and two others are on interim suspension as a result of allegations of hazing. But university administrators acknowledge that the reporting of the alleged incidents also indicates a greater awareness of hazing within the Greek community.
"Increased awareness of what constitutes hazing, accompanied by reporting of such incidents by the community, is helping the university and the national Greek system safeguard the health and safety of Cornell students," said Travis Apgar, the Robert G. Engel Associate Dean of Students, March 1.
The Office of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living reported the following actions this week in the Greek system as many fraternities and sororities reach their initiation deadline of March 3:
- As of Feb. 28 the Chi Psi fraternity has been placed on suspended status by the national headquarters of the fraternity, as a result of credible allegations of serious hazing. All chapter activities must be approved by the national organization and Cornell's Office of Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living before they can proceed.
- As of Feb. 28 the Sigma Nu fraternity has been placed by Cornell and the national headquarters of the fraternity on interim suspension status, as a result of credible allegations of serious physical hazing.
- As of March 1 the Delta Phi (Llenroc) fraternity also has been placed by Cornell on interim suspension status, as a result of credible allegations of serious physical hazing.
The chapters will remain on interim suspension until the allegations can be resolved through the appropriate judicial bodies, which may include the Greek Judicial Board, the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board, or the Cornell Judicial Administrator.
Interim suspension is a pause in the operations of a chapter during which the chapter may not engage in any activities other than operation of its residence. Interim suspension is used when a credible report is made indicating the actions of a chapter pose an immediate or imminent threat to students' health, or that members' actions are so egregious that the university is compelled to cease activities of the organization for the safety of the members, those joining or guests.
Apgar said he is pleased with the active role that community members are taking with respect to addressing these dangerous behaviors, and he wants to encourage that diligence and action to continue.
"The fact that we have community members who recognize and intervene to spare peers and community members from hazing is fantastic," said Apgar. "We are pleased to see Cornell demonstrate that it is a community of action takers, not bystanders."