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Action Against the University of Maryland

Safety and wellbeing is our top priority as we strive to create a safe campus environment for sorority women. Following the University of Maryland’s decision to suspend Greek Life activities on campus and refusal to be forthcoming about specific and credible allegations of wrongdoing, we were left no choice but to take legal action to preserve the constitutional rights of our members.

Action Against the University of Maryland

NPC continues to protect the women’s-only movement from university overreach. Recently, sorority members at the University of Maryland were denied their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights after the university suspended Greek Life activities, only to reinstate Panhellenic sororities two weeks later upon finding no wrongdoing. The university required that sorority members submit to a mandatory interrogation under threat of discipline and unlawfully restricted the constitutionally guaranteed rights of free expression.

About our Cause

The recent decision by the University of Maryland (UMD) to suspend Greek Life activities only to reinstate all sororities two weeks later upon finding no wrongdoing raises concerns that extend far beyond the confines of its campus. While addressing and investigating misconduct allegations is crucial, it is equally important to consider how such actions are taken and the repercussions they may have on innocent individuals and organizations.

Sororities are vital in campus and global communities, cultivating belonging, support and preserving health, safety and well-being for young women. They empower members to reach personal and professional goals, leading in philanthropy, academics and leadership for a positive societal impact.

The actions taken by UMD cast a shadow not only on campus but also on sorority life across the country. It is imperative to acknowledge that the alleged actions of a few should not tarnish the reputation or diminish the contributions of the many. The blanket suspension indirectly implied guilt upon numerous young women dedicated to bettering themselves and their communities.

The story of sororities at UMD should serve as a reminder of the need for careful, fair and transparent decision-making processes within our academic institutions. Our sororities, and indeed all student organizations, deserve nothing less.

News and Commentary

Panel Details Shocking Civil Rights Violations at UMD – At a National Press Club panel hosted by the Fraternity and Sorority Action Fund on April 25, students and experts discussed how actions taken by the University of Maryland infringed upon individual civil liberties and ran afoul of the law and the school’s own administrative procedures. A recording of the panel can be viewed here.

Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act: An Update(4.8.2024, Kappa Alpha Theta)

Sorority and students sue University of Maryland over hazing investigation(4.5.2024, The Baltimore Sun)

University of Maryland facing another lawsuit following Greek life suspension(4.5.2024, WMAR)

Kappa Alpha Theta sorority chapter sues UMD over Greek life suspension(4.4.2024, The Diamondback, University of Maryland)

Students, Collegiate Sorority Chapter File Federal Suit Against Top University of Maryland Administrators for Violating Their Constitutional Rights(4.5.2024, NPC)

University of Maryland unfairly casts a shadow on sororities(3.20.2024, NPC Letter to the Editor, The Baltimore Sun)

NPC Statement Regarding Recent Actions by the University of Maryland(3.7.2024, NPC)

Lawsuit Updates

Gamma Mu Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and Jane Does 1-6 vs. Bond, McShay, Perillo, Pines and the University of Maryland, College Park was filed Thursday, April 3rd in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act

Freedom of association rights are a hallmark of American society, and the cost of a postsecondary education should never include sacrificing those rights. In recent years, many schools started singling out women’s-only and men’s-only organizations for disparate regulation compared to how other student organizations are treated. The University of Maryland situation is just one example in a long line of incidents during the last decade that has required a robust response from our community.

While we have, and we will continue to engage in legal action when warranted, it is not the only solution, nor always financially feasible. NPC is part of a coalition that has been working to develop additional protections for our organizations and individual members through legislative remedies.

The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act is an important piece of federal legislation that ensures the protection of future students and student organizations from actions from universities that violate constitutionally-protected rights of association. The language in the bill that addresses our issues has bi-partisan support and has been introduced through the Freedom of Association in Higher Education Act (H.R.2451) and the Collegiate Freedom of Association Act (H.R.1626).

NPC thanks Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), House Committee on Education and the Workforce, for her leadership in championing the freedom of association rights of students and organizations. Now more than ever, amid instances of broad overreach, our member organizations and student members need greater protection.

Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act: An Update(4.8.2024, Kappa Alpha Theta)