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Duke University Eases Sorority Ban After 'Alcohol-Related Issue'

Duke University has partially lifted a ban on all sorority activities — just hours after the measures were imposed when a student was left critically ill due to an "alcohol-related issue."

The North Carolina college said Wednesday it was enforcing the ban because of "concerns about activities … during the most recent rush and bid periods, heightened by the hospitalization of a student for an alcohol-related issue."

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, said the college called a meeting with all 10 chapter presidents and the Panhellenic Executive Board, and that "each chapter will be asked to review its activities to ensure compliance with policies on social events, rush, and alcohol use."

However, Moneta issued a second statement later Wednesday that confirmed the suspension of activities had been "partially lifted" following what he called a "candid and productive conversation" during that meeting.

Sorority chapters would now be able to host study breaks, sisterhood events, chapter meetings, and philanthropy and community-service activities, he said, adding that "further sanctions are expected to be lifted in the near future."

The hospitalized student was a new sorority member who was hospitalized between Tuesday and Wednesday. The college did not provide further details of the incident but said the student was expected to fully recover.

Moneta said that everyone at the meeting "agreed that what happened last night was unacceptable and that steps must be taken to prevent any similar recurrence."

He said the meeting was focused on taking steps to end a "social culture, not unique to Duke, that is excessively focused on alcohol use and abuse."