Monmouth University suspends all fraternities, sororities

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WEST LONG BRANCH -

Monmouth University in West Long Branch has indefinitely suspended all of its fraternities and sororities for what school officials say was an inadequate response to some "serious conduct violations."

The Greek Senate at the college was required to submit a preliminary plan last month to address violations like hazing and drug and alcohol use. But Monmouth University President Grey Dimenna said that the submitted draft plan fell short of expectations, prompting the suspension.

Dimenna said in a letter to students and staff that there were “serious conduct violations that have occurred within the community including hazing, alcohol and drug use and lack of academic focus."

Vice President of Student Life Mary Anne Nagy said, “Although we did not come to this decision lightly, we feel strongly that it is necessary in order to preserve a productive and healthy learning environment for students involved in Greek life."

All non-educational activities sponsored by the college’s seven fraternities and nine sororities have been canceled, including parties, recruitment efforts and community service events.

Some students at Monmouth University say that they agree with the decision, especially after what happened with Penn State student Timothy Piazza last year. The 19-year-old from Hunterdon County died at a fraternity party after he was injured in a fall at a fraternity party. He was a Beta Theta Pi pledge who was forced to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol during a hazing ritual.

“It’s kind of a good thing they get shutdown,” says student Brandon Mackay. “Kids are dying and underage drinking is causing issues and kids don't get it."

But other students say that the blanket punishment does not seem to be fair.

“I don't think it's fair to punish everyone. There are some sororities that are definitely doing good for the community and school,” says student Justine Kukowski.

There is a chance the suspension can be lifted. The Greek Council can submit an action plan to the university president by Oct. 15 for his approval.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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