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Univ. of Texas at Arlington suspends frat, sorority activities over concerns about 'culture'

The university will name a task force "to review the state of affairs ... and to recommend steps to effect a positive shift in the community culture."

The University of Texas at Arlington has suspended all social activities of Greek organizations due to "concerns regarding the culture of the fraternal community," the school said Wednesday.

The university, which has about 28,000 undergraduates among its more than 40,000 students, began the suspension of social activities of fraternities and sororities Monday so that it can study their communities' culture, the university's chief spokesperson said in a statement.

“During this pause, the University will assemble a campus Fraternity and Sorority Life Task Force to review the state of affairs within the fraternity and sorority community and to recommend steps to effect a positive shift in the community culture," the statement said.

Greek organizations will still be able to participate in certain events, such as community service projects and chapter meetings.

The suspension was not based on a singular event but was sparked by concerns about fraternal culture both on the campus and nationally.

"The University hopes this pause will be an opportunity to continue collaboration with current members and alumni to provide an opportunity to foster a commitment that is consistent with the University’s values," the statement said.

Fraternities and sororities have received increased national scrutiny in recent years as some chapters have made headlines for hazing incidents or racist behavior.

Three former Beta Theta Pi members at Penn State were sentenced to jail Tuesday after they pleaded guilty to various charges related to the death of Timothy Piazza, 19, in 2017. The teenager fatally fell down the stairs at an initiation event for new pledges at the fraternity house, according to the family's lawyer.

The University of Georgia said it expelled four fraternity members last month after video surfaced appearing to show men using a racial slur about black people and talking about picking cotton.

Nine members of a Louisiana State University fraternity were arrested in February over multiple alleged hazing incidents. The Delta Kappa Epsilon members are facing numerous charges, including felony battery charges and misdemeanor criminal hazing.