The University of Maryland received multiple complaints of hazing and physical abuse at fraternities and sororities, including beating new or prospective members with a paddle, before it banned the organizations from recruiting or holding social events involving alcohol, according to new filings in a lawsuit over the suspensions.

The allegations included details that fraternities were burning prospective members with cigarettes and torches, forcing them to lie on nails and forcing them to consume “things that are not food,” including live fish, tobacco and urine.

The chapter members did not provide the students with water, according to the new filings, and they drank only straight vodka. Chapter members also allegedly hit one person in the face with a plastic bat after he passed out and poured beer on him until he woke up, according to the filings, which did not specify which organizations were accused of taking part in the alleged conduct.

The details about the allegations became public Friday night in a motion by the university and Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown’s office to dismiss a case brought by four Greek life chapters and three unidentified students alleging the ban violated their First Amendment rights.

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The university is investigating the chapter organizations Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Nu and Zeta Beta Tau through the Office of Student Conduct. A hearing set for Monday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on a request for a temporary restraining order against the school has been called off.

On Friday, the university announced most Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council chapter organizations could resume social activities after the two-week ban, while INCompliance, a consulting firm, will continue to investigate five fraternities and sororities. One of the fraternities still facing a ban is Kappa Alpha Order, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, based on “serious allegations of hazing and alcohol abuse,” according to the university’s complaint.

Lifting the ban on the majority of the organizations makes the lawsuit moot, the university said.

The other chapters who filed the complaint are Theta Chi, Alpha Sigma Phi and Alpha Tau Omega.

Bobby Panzenbeck, a representative from Lafayette Co. who is involved with the fraternity chapters and students in the court proceedings, said they are reviewing the documents to determine their next move.

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”At the end of the day, all these kids were treated like they were criminals and were given no notice of what the underlying basis of the investigation was,” Panzenbeck said.

The university will usually work with fraternities when it comes to disciplinary actions, he said. But, at this time, there has been “very little” cooperation with students in fraternities and sororities.

In a letter to the campus sent Friday afternoon, Vice President of Student Affairs Patty Perillo said the “concerning hazing behaviors and harmful alcohol-related activities” had prompted the two-week pause in Greek life.

“We recognize that temporarily pausing select activities has had an effect on our fraternity and sorority members, particularly new members,” she wrote. “However, we chose a course of action that prioritized safety and prevention, with the aim of assessing the reports we had received and preventing a significant health and safety incident from occurring.”

Perillo’s letter echoed much of the university’s argument asking the federal court to dismiss the case.

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The fraternities and three unidentified students said in their lawsuit this week that the ban violated their constitutionally protected liberties of expressive rights, where, under the First Amendment, they have the “right to associate” for the purpose of engaging in activities including speech, assembly and petition for the redress of grievances.

The fraternities also claimed the ban was not authorized under the university’s Code of Student Conduct because it was a blanket issue, rather than an action against individual chapters based on individual allegations.

In a 31-page motion, the university said the order prohibited chapters only from engaging in social activities that served alcohol. Members, the university said, were free to participate in events so long as alcoholic drinks were not present.

The university also argued its actions were justified in light of “numerous specific allegations and reports of hazing,” which are strictly forbidden by its Code of Conduct. Its code allows a cease-and-desist notice to all student organizations conducting activities that pose a threat “to the health and safety of the university community.” It can be sent without prior notice if the threat is substantial.

Even so, the university says it provided ample notice.

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According to the university’s motion, a residential director found multiple prohibited substances and drug paraphernalia at an unnamed fraternity on Feb. 20. The university is not naming the fraternity because the investigation is ongoing and it has not substantiated the allegations of misconduct.

The parent of a student also reported to the Office of Student Conduct that the unnamed fraternity was forcing their son to stay outside in the cold for several hours on the evening of Feb. 21, when the overnight temperature was in the mid-30s, and that the young man had to go to the university health center for suspected hypothermia.

The student’s parent also said the son was forced to scrub floors and clean off-campus houses of chapter members until 2:30 a.m.

A student who sent an email on Feb. 27, according to the university’s complaint, was part of a lineup of prospective or new members who were forced to wall-sit, do push-ups and planks, intentionally harm themselves, be almost fully naked for “the purpose of public humiliation” and be physically assaulted.

The University of Maryland, College Park said in a court filing that it received multiple complaints of hazing and alcohol abuse before suspending parts of Greek life on campus.

A few days before the university placed many of its fraternities and sororities under a cease-and-desist order, Assistant Dean of Students Kevin Pitt met with chapter presidents, according to the university’s motion. He presented allegations of physical abuse, mental and emotional distress, financial exploitation and forced labor, drug and alcohol abuse, and bodily harm, including some involving human waste.

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The motion said almost 100 students attended the meeting Feb. 27.

Administrators told chapter leadership then that the university would take action, including a pause of new member activities. In the motion, the university said administrators encouraged chapter leaders to contact them, giving them index cards, and offered students the opportunity to “confidentially seek support for chapters that may need assistance” in addressing hazing activities.

Pitt said none of the fraternity or sorority leaders contacted him.

“Due process requires only notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard,” the university said.

In the early morning of March 1, the day Assistant Vice President and Interim Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life James McShay notified IFC and PHA chapters of the cease-and-desist order, two students had to be transported off campus by an emergency responder due to alcohol use.

The day the university announced the lifting of the order, Director of Student Conduct James Bond sent a letter to the chapter president of Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, notifying them that the university is investigating allegations the chapter engaged in high-risk drinking behaviors, requiring prospective or new members to run errands and tasks, and distributing alcohol to people under the legal drinking age.

The university asked the chapter president to contact the office by March 25, the first day after spring break, to schedule an interview. The university will begin its spring break Sunday.

Wynn Smiley, spokesperson for the Fraternity Forward Coalition, a national organization supporting UMD’s fraternity chapters and students in the court proceedings, previously told The Baltimore Banner the university lifted the ban only under the threat of a judge’s ruling. He said in a statement Friday that he will continue to pursue litigation against the university for its “unlawful behavior.”

“Most campuses do not do systemwide suspensions, and what makes this, the Maryland situation, so egregious is that they are doing this without any specific allegations — that is new,” he told the Banner. “I’ve never seen the campus do that.”

Clara Longo de Freitas is a neighborhood reporter covering East Baltimore communities. Before joining the Banner, she interned at The Baltimore Sun as an emerging news and community reporter. She also has design and illustration experience with several news organizations, including The Hill and NPR.

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