At the University of Michigan, the campus Interfraternity Council suspended fraternity social events after revelations of hazing and "Champagne and Shackles” that led to the hospitalization of at least three dozen people. At the “Champagne and Shackles” event, people were handcuffed to one another until they finished a bottle of champagne. There are allegations of “near-death situations” and reports of drugging.

In a statement, IFC Executive Vice President, Alec Mayhan, said that the student-led body made the to address these serious allegations before resuming social events.

"As an Interfraternity Council community, we believe in holding our members to a high standard at the University of Michigan," Mayhan wrote. "It has come to our attention that some members of the Interfraternity Council community have not been living up to these standards... We believe that social events are a privilege, and we, as a community, have not earned this privilege at this time. We will immediately begin the process of assessing our policies and practices and developing a formal plan going forward." All Greek life mixers, date parties, and initiation activities on campus are cancelled.

The Michigan Daily newspaper reported that social activities that have already been paid for will be allowed to take place on the Ann Arbor campus. However, “'sober monitors” will be in attendance to monitor the students. The Interfraternity Council is the local governing body for National Interfraternity Conference fraternity chapters at the school. The National Interfraternity Conference, of which the IFC is a local representative, will monitor future fraternity and sorority initiations.

According to a report from the University of Michigan Office for Institutional Equity released in October 2016, 80 sexual assault cases were reported between July 2015 and June 2016. The controversy at the University of Michigan came during the same week that Florida State University announced the indefinite suspension of the 55 fraternities and sororities on campus following the death of a freshman pledge. Also, Pennsylvania State University suspended sororities and fraternities from holding social events in the spring following the death of 19-year old Timothy Piazza during an initiation.

Down south, Louisiana State University suspended Greek life for one month and continues to ban alcohol at Greek parties after the hazing death of Maxwell Gruver (18) in September.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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