While UNC is enforcing a policy of “dry” rush, other universities in the nation are adopting stricter measures.
The University of South Carolina temporarily suspended rush for 18 of its fraternities that hold fall rush, and Princeton University will ban freshmen from participating in rush, effective next fall.
These decisions have met criticism from Greek communities.
USC suspended fraternity rush Aug. 18 in response to alcohol-related violations by some fraternities.
Rush was allowed to resume for the fraternities not accused of violations last Friday.
One fraternity not accused of violations — whose identity was not disclosed — has hired an attorney and threatened to sue USC.
“The decision to punish all fraternities and their members for the alleged actions of a few is unconstitutional,” the attorney, Todd Kincannon, wrote in a letter to USC’s president.
Princeton announced Aug. 23 that it will prohibit freshmen from rushing Greek organizations starting next academic year.
Cynthia Cherrey, Princeton’s vice president for campus life, and Kathleen Deignan, dean of undergraduate students, explained the decision in a letter to incoming freshmen.
“(Fraternities and sororities) select their members early in freshman year, when students are most vulnerable to pressures from peers to drink, and before they have had a full opportunity to explore a variety of interests and develop a diverse set of friendships,” the letter stated.
Peter Smithhisler, president and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, said he opposes Princeton’s decision.
Princeton does not officially recognize its Greek organizations, he said.
“Princeton is setting policy for groups that they don’t even recognize,” Smithhisler said. “I think that’s an overreach by the institution.”
Whether UNC would ever ban freshmen from rush is uncertain, said Aaron Bachenheimer, interim coordinator of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at UNC.
Public institutions must offer specific reasons to support banning freshmen from rushing, Bachenheimer said.
“It becomes an issue of freedom of association and the rights of students.”
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