Former University of Maryland sorority member calls for abolishing Greek system, transparency on campus

Former University of Maryland sorority member calls for abolishing Greek system, transparency

BALTIMORE -- A former sorority member at the University of Maryland is pulling back the curtain on abuses in Greek life as fraternities and sororities remain suspended on the College Park campus. 

She is one of the few insiders talking about the need for reforming and even abolishing the system where she says hazing runs rampant. 

"I just felt the only way to take control over what happened to me was to break that silence and speak up about what happened to me. That's the power behind me too," Lucy Taylor said. "When you speak up others do too."

Taylor documented her sorority experience at College Park in The Snapped Podcast, which has been downloaded more than 700,000 times. 

"This is one of my purposes. This happened to me for a reason so I can advocate in this way," Taylor said.     

"I experienced cyberbullying. I experienced being ostracized. I was then silenced because I was going to Title IX to report everything that happened to me."

Her sisterhood turned into a nightmare, and she left Greek life in 2017. The podcast launched in 2020.

"All chapters haze," Taylor alleged. "Hazing is an open secret on all college campuses including the University of Maryland, and it's just about who gets caught, so that then creates this culture of secrecy where no one wants to report."

Taylor is calling on the school to be transparent about why they shut down all social activities involving alcohol and all recrutment starting last week. 

In Letter to UMD Fraternity and Sorority Alumni to fraternity and sorority alumni, the vice president of student affairs wrote the move follows "numerous reports of incidents that potentially pose a serious risk to the health and safety" of students. 

The letter states, "No single or specific incident led to this decision; instead, it was made based on the number, frequency, and nature of the concerning incidents."

"I am very shocked that they have taken the steps to shut down Greek life with all chapters. Usually the tactic is we'll just shut this one chapter down, they're suspended, they'll come back in three years," Taylor said. "I really am worried that it's kind of a blip, and in three weeks, it will be business as usual."

National Greek organizations including the Interfraternity Council say anyone responsible for misconduct must be held accountable and they're committed to a safe environment. But they have criticized the University of Maryland for punishing every organization.

"NIC members stand ready to hold the few involved in misconduct accountable while advocating for students who uphold fraternal expectations and provide thousands of young men a positive fraternity experience. Since our members' top priority is health and safety, we oppose system-wide actions which research shows disincentivizes future reporting and fosters a culture of mistrust among students and administrators," wrote Judson Horras, North American Interfraternity Conference President and CEO in a statement to WJZ. 

"The only thing that the university can do that will help is to shut them all down permanently, Taylor said. 

Asked if she thought that would happen, she told WJZ, "I don't think so, and it's so unfortunate and mind boggling because these institutions are really killing students."

Taylor said her podcast "really showed me how these reforms fail over and over again—and really made it clear that this is not one sorority or one university, this is really a Greek life problem."

The school's letter to alumni said they support the Greek organizations and "share an unwavering commitment to fraternity and sorority life."

Maryland's vice president of student affairs said the school has "no tolerance" for actions that threaten student safety.

The university is posting updates on the situation here

Read more

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.