Duke University announced Wednesday that it had suspended all sorority activities after a new member was hospitalized Tuesday night in critical condition because of an “alcohol-related incident,” according to statements released by the Durham, North Carolina, school. It wasn't immediately clear what led to the student’s condition, but the incident, which has been compared to hazing, was under investigation, according to a tweet from the university.
“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,” read the statement from the director of fraternity and sorority life and the president of the Panhellenic Council at Duke.
The incident happened during recent “rush and bid” periods, where women are invited to join a sorority chapter, according to a separate statement from the school’s vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta, who also noted that the student was “expected to recover fully.”
Duke has suspended all sorority activity until further notice. pic.twitter.com/oQ996sKafi
— Duke University (@DukeU) January 27, 2016
“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,” added Moneta.
An emergency meeting was called for 5 p.m. where all chapter 10 presidents and the Panhellenic executive board members were expected to discuss the incident.
The issue of hazing at U.S. fraternities and sororities has long plagued campuses, most recently in October, when five University of Alabama students were arrested for forcing pledges to stand in buckets of ice water and salt, which led to burns on the pledges’ feet, according to a Fox News report.
“The University of Alabama will not tolerate hazing and takes allegations and incidents of hazing very seriously,” Dean of Students Tim Hebson said in a statement at the time. “Students who are the victims of, or who become aware of, hazing incidents are strongly encouraged to bring these incidents to our attention.”