One of the most exciting opportunities available to college students is joining a fraternity. The fraternity allows young men entering college for the first time to find brotherhood with other new students and give a connection to older students. They form a bond that is supposed to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, many fraternities take things way too far. Instead of recruiting new members in a fun, frenzied, safe way, they use a form of recruitment that includes hazing.
Hazing incidents have caused injuries and even death. For this reason, hazing is banned across all college campuses. In spite of this, hazing continues to take place every school year. Most recently, three fraternities at UC Berkeley have been officially unrecognized by the University due to activities relating to hazing.
What Is Hazing?
Hazing is what happens when fraternities strongly encourage or outright force new recruits to participate in dangerous tasks and stunts. According to UC policy, hazing is any sort of activity or action that causes or is likely to cause personal degradation, humiliation, disgrace, or physical injury to participating students. The harm that could ensue includes both physical and psychological harm.
In the most recent incident at UC Berkeley, Theta Delta Chi and Chi Phi have had their recognition revoked until January 2026. Sigma Alpha Epsilon has had its recognition revoked until January 2029.
What Happens When a Fraternity Is “Unrecognized”?
When fraternities or sororities are unrecognized, they can't receive any sort of training, support services, or any type of campus advising. They're not allowed to recruit members on campus until the revocation period has been completed. They will most likely also have their recognition revoked by the national fraternity. This means that they must remove the iconic representative Greek letters from their houses, a major punishment for any fraternity.
Those chapters will also no longer be associated with the Panhellenic Council (also referred to as the PHC) and the Inter-Fraternity Council (also referred to as the IFC). Because of these bans, they won't be able to get permits for gatherings, an absolute requirement by the fire department for any group on campus holding gatherings. If they go ahead and have gatherings anyway, participants could be subject to civil or criminal charges.
Can Unrecognized Fraternities Hold Solo, Independent Events?
One problem that colleges and universities often face is that students often continue to engage with unrecognized fraternities. They rush the fraternities, and they often attend parties at their homes. The problem here is that since the fraternities are unrecognized, they're no longer regulated.
They are essentially unsupervised houses filled with roommates who essentially have no rules. It's very likely that they will continue to participate in unsafe practices, putting themselves and any students who drop by at risk. If a student is part of an unrecognized eternity and there is an issue that results in harm to a student or serious damage, anyone living in that house could face extremely serious legal consequences.
Reach Out for Legal Help With Fraternity-Related Issues
Fraternity-related legal issues can result in seriously damaging lifelong consequences. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years representing students from all walks of college life and from across the United States, helping them resolve issues that could have destroyed their futures.
Reach out for help at 888-535-3686 today to schedule an evaluation of your case. Your academic and professional life are worth protecting.