Duke 'partially' lifts ban on sorority activities

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The suspension of sorority activity at Duke has been partially lifted.

Duke University moved to partially lift a suspension of Duke sorority activities less than 24 hours after it instituted the temporary ban.

Earlier, Duke University suspended sorority activities after a new member was hospitalized after an incident involving alcohol.

On Wednesday evening, Duke administrators said they had a candid and productive conversation with the sororities about alcohol use and abuse.

However, the university remained tight-lipped about what led up to a Duke student being rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The university did say, however, that she is expected to make a full recovery.

Duke leaders would also not reveal which one of the school's 18 on-campus sororities was at the center of Tuesday night's incident.

A letter to the Panhellenic Council sent out Wednesday morning stated a new member was hospitalized and "is in critical condition related to an incident with alcohol."

All sorority activities were suspended while the incident was investigated, according to Clarybel Perguero, the Director or Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Anya Ranganathan, the President of the Panhellenic Council.

The officials then called an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. with all 10 chapter presidents and the Panhellenic Executive Board to discuss the incident.

During the meeting, the group reviewed Duke's expectations of sorority members and review sorority activities to "ensure compliance."

After the meeting, Duke released a statement from Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs:

Members of Duke's administration met this evening with the Panhellenic chapter leaders and executive council. 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. All agreed that what happened last night was unacceptable and that steps must be taken to prevent any similar recurrence. The women committed to focusing on lasting reforms within their own communities and all agreed to engage in further conversations within the sorority system and among all students at Duke with a goal of identifying specific and actionable proposals for the immediate future. As of this time, the suspension of activities has been partially lifted. Sorority chapters may host events including study breaks, sisterhood events, chapter meetings and philanthropy/community service activities. Further sanctions are expected to be lifted in the near future.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Duke released a statement from Moneta regarding the suspension of all sorority activities:

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.

Read the entire Wednesday morning email below:

Panhellenic Community,

Overnight a new member was hospitalized and is in critical condition related to an incident with alcohol. While we are investigating to learn more of what happened, we are immediately suspending ALL sorority activities until further notice.

We are calling an emergency meeting this afternoon at 5 PM with all 10 Panhellenic chapter presidents and Panhellenic Executive Board in the OFSL conference room. We will discuss the incident, review Duke's expectations for all chapters and their members, and ask each chapter to review its activities to ensure compliance. The safety of members of our community is of utmost importance.

Clarybel Peguero
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Anya Ranganathan
President of Panhellenic Council

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