Following the death of student Tucker Hipps, whose body was found after he reportedly disappeared from a fraternity outing, Clemson University has suspended all fraternity activities indefinitely.
In a statement released Tuesday, University official wrote that "all social and new-member initiation activities" had been put on hold because of concerns that said fraternities violated the law and/or the school student conduct code:
"It is especially prudent to suspend fraternity activities given the tragic death of Tucker Hipps. There has been a high number of reports of serious incidents involving fraternity activities, ranging from alcohol-related medical emergencies to sexual misconduct," said Student Affairs Vice President Gail DiSabatino. "These behaviors are unacceptable and mandate swift and effective action to protect students. There is no higher priority than the safety and welfare of our students."
Matters of a criminal nature have been turned over to appropriate law enforcement agencies, while violations of the student code of conduct are being investigated by the university's Office of Community and Ethical Standards.
Earlier this week, the Interfraternity Council voted to suspend activities, and DiSabatino said student leaders would be engaged in developing strategies to address the issues.
As it stands, the police do not believe that Hipps' death was necessarily related to hazing. The current party line is that he was on an early morning fraternity run Monday and did not return, which is when other members of the frat went looking for him, though according to the school paper The Tiger News, there were allegedly "reports on social media" that his death was due in part to hazing. (Hipps was found in a lake, with trauma to the head that appears to have come from a fall from a highway bridge.) His fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, is being investigated by their national chapter.
In April, six Clemson students were arrested on felony drug charges. Just this month, Clemson was in the news for requiring that new students complete a quiz about their sexual history as part of Title IX training. The requirement to take the quiz was suspended, and the quiz was altered, after many students complained that it was intrusive.
Image via Henry de Sassure Copeland/Flickr