Fraternity and sorority members are frustrated after the University of Maryland placed a cease and desist on all Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association chapters on March 1.

This university issued the cease and desist while it investigates allegations of hazing-related behavior. Multiple new and current members of this university’s IFC and PHA organizations said punishing all chapters is unfair.

In a statement to The Diamondback from members of the North American Interfraternity Conference, Jackson Hochhauser, the president of this university’s Theta Chi chapter, said the chapter was not in violation of campus policy and is being subjected to “punishment without due process.”

“This action is unjustly depriving our members of their very positive experience in Theta Chi,” the sophomore operations management and business analytics major said.

The cease and desist order prevents current members of IFC and PHA fraternities and sororities from talking to new members about “Greek-letter organization-related activities.” Chapters are also on social moratorium and cannot host any events with alcohol.

[UMD places cease and desist order on all IFC and PHA fraternities, sororities]

The IFC executive board and chapter presidents called on this university to lift the moratorium imposed on chapters in a Thursday statement to The Diamondback. The statement added that restrictions were imposed on “chapters lacking evidence or allegations of misconduct.”

“We want to work with the University to address concerns while respecting the due process rights afforded to individuals and organizations via the University Code of Conduct,” the statement read.

Multiple chapters are believed to have conducted “activities that threatened the safety and well-being” of the community, according to a March 1 email from this university’s Office of Student Conduct and Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The order followed an emergency meeting on Feb. 29 involving leaders from all fraternity and sorority councils at this university. This university warned leadership at the meeting that more reports of hazing would be met with a “firm response,” the March 1 email said.

At the emergency meeting, senior administrators from this university’s student affairs division solicited information from chapter leaders to understand their chapters’ initiation process and determine if there was a basis for complaints, according to a separate university email shared with parents of fraternity and sorority members on March 1.

In a statement to The Diamondback Monday, this university said the decision to place chapters on cease and desist came after “careful consideration of reports, observations and data-driven analysis of behaviors.”

“No single or specific incident led to this decision,” the statement read. “Our decision was made to prevent such a significant incident.”

Patty Perillo, this university’s student affairs vice president, added that the university made the decision to halt IFC and PHA new member activities based on “the number, frequency, and nature of the concerning incidents and allegations” in a letter sent Thursday to fraternity and sorority alumni.

This university will engage an “external resource” to aid in its investigation and plans to stay in close coordination with chapter presidents and national organizations, according to the university’s Monday statement.

Dani Weatherford, CEO of the National Panhellenic Conference — the national organization that oversees sororities including those at this university — said this university has not informed any conference sorority that they are the subject of “specific and credible allegations of wrongdoing.”

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Weatherford added that the organization requested improved communication and transparency from this university about the “broad allegations” in a meeting earlier this week. The conference also asked the university to clarify the timeline of its investigation.

“They had no response and provided no answers,” Weatherford said.

Perillo reiterated this university’s support for fraternities and sororities in her Thursday alumni letter.

The restrictions on IFC and PHA chapters are a temporary measure to allow the university to investigate, Perillo said in the letter.

“We understand the importance of fraternity and sorority life in shaping leaders, forging lifelong friendships, and contributing significantly to our university’s vibrant culture,” Perillo wrote six days after the cease and desist went into place. “Student safety will always be our top priority, and we can have no tolerance for actions that threaten their well-being.”