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University of Maryland frats push back against suspension. Father whose son died after hazing supports decision

Fraternities push back against University of Maryland's suspension of Greek life organizations
Fraternities push back against University of Maryland's suspension of Greek life organizations 03:05

BALTIMORE -- Fraternities are pushing back against the University of Maryland's suspension of 35 Greek organizations on the College Park campus.

Some fraternity presidents say the move to ban recruiting and any social activities involving alcohol unfairly targets fraternities and sororities following the rules.

The University of Maryland declined to comment to WJZ and did not give a timeline for its investigation or when the suspension could be lifted. 

"Just punish the people who messed up," a student said. "The people who broke the rules, they're the ones who should be punished." 

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"Social activities are about to hit an all-time low," the student added. "I mean for God's sake, mental health is already horrible at this school and now they want to shut down a major foundation of what a lot of people do." 

The university has provided no specific examples but wrote a letter to Greek organizations saying several chapters conducted activities that threatened student safety—and advised them to review anti-hazing policies. 

Several fraternities are pushing back against the school, saying there is a lack of transparency surrounding the alleged misconduct.

In a statement to WJZ, Judson Horras, who heads the North American Interfraternity Conference, said, "Since our members' top priority is health and safety, we oppose system-wide actions which research shows disincentive future reporting and foster a culture of mistrust among students and administrators."

"This shutdown was so sudden and we're frustrated with no answers," said Phi Kappa Tau President Spencer Doyle. "It is not fair to chapters operating the right way."

"It is disheartening that our fraternity chapter, which is not in violation of campus policy, is being subjected to punishment without due process," said the president of Theta Chi.   

Three years ago,19-year-old Adam Oakes died of alcohol poisoning while pledging a fraternity at Virginia Commonwealth University.

His father supports the University of Maryland's move until the school can ensure everyone's safety. 

"We just want the kids to love one another and care for each other and don't harm each other," Eric Oakes said. "It's ridiculous the things they're doing, acting like making someone drink an entire bottle of whiskey is going to make you closer to brotherhood." 

The IFC President said in published reports that a primarily Jewish fraternity was subjected to antisemitic comments after false rumors that their actions led to the suspension. 

The suspension does not involve the five historically Black fraternities and sororities on campus. 

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