Duke University officials partially lifted a ban on sorority activities after a student wound up in the hospital in critical condition after an alcohol-related incident Tuesday night.
Administrators met Wednesday night with sorority leaders at Duke to discuss the situation. A statement from Larry Moneta, Duke’s vice president of student affairs, called it “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.”
Moneta said the women agreed to focus on lasting reforms. “All agreed that what happened last night was unacceptable and that steps must be taken to prevent any similar recurrence,” his statement said.
Sororities will be allowed to host some events, including study breaks, chapter meetings and community service activities. Further sanctions could be lifted in the near future.
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Duke had banned all sorority events after the unidentified student was hospitalized. Officials did not release details about what happened or name the sorority involved, but said the student is expected to recover fully. The incident apparently occurred during the rush and bid period.
After learning the student had been hospitalized, Clarybel Peguero, Duke’s director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Anya Ranganathan, president of the Panhellenic Council, issued an alert to the 10 Panhellenic chapter presidents and to the Panhellenic Executive Board.
“Panhellenic Community,” the email notification began, “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.”
Peguero and Ranganathan also asked each chapter to review its activities to ensure compliance. “The safety of members of our community is of utmost importance,” they said.
Moneta said the health, well-being and safety of students is the university’s “highest priority” and that campus officials “look forward to working with the sorority leaders toward that end.”