Greek life social events at the University of North Florida have been suspended indefinitely, according to a letter from the university's council presidents.
The message, obtained by our News4Jax partner Monday night, stated the suspension is effective immediately and will continue for part of the spring semester.
"With the current state of Greek life in both Florida and the nation as a whole, we recognize our community's room for improvement and would like to take proactive steps to ensure the safety and longevity of fraternity and sorority life at the University of North Florida," the letter reads.
The letter defined social events as any activity that involves alcohol and partnership with another Greek organization, such as parties and tailgates.
"We know that our chapters may view this as a punishment, but we assure you that this reformed approach will result in a stronger and safer community," the letter says.
Greek leadership made the decision without alerting UNF President John Delaney. The president of the Interfraternity Council told the Dean of Students of their decision on Tuesday.
It was signed by the presidents of the Interfraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council and the Panhellenic Council.
A university spokesperson could not be reached for comment Monday.
Allison Moore, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority said there have been incidents recently that have gotten out of hand and she thinks that’s why Panhellenic is stepping in.
"I think for a lot of us, it’s a shock," Moore said. "I understand why we did it, but others are confused. Why us, why us? But I think the general goal is to make all Greek communities safer and if we can play a part in that, it will be beneficial."
Another Alpha Chi Omega member was also surprised.
"It's tragic that students are unfortunately dying at those things," Rita West said. "However, it’s hard to blame a whole organization that’s nationwide for these activities that quite possibly could happen with or without Greek life being involved."
Last month, Florida State University imposed an indefinite ban on all campus Greek life following the death of a 20-year-old fraternity pledge after an off-campus fraternity party.
Greek leadership is scheduled to meet again Thursday. Until then, while all social activities are suspended, all Greek service projects will go on as scheduled.
Reaction to the news was mixed on social media with some students criticizing the timing. "When UNF suspends all Greek Life the week of finals... can this week get worse?!?" one user tweeted.
When UNF suspends all Greek Life the week of finals... can this week get worse?!?
— Madison Mihailoff (@mmihailoff7) December 5, 2017
Others, like the UNF Lacrosse team, made light of the news. "No Greek Life? Sounds like y'all need a place to tailgate..." the team wrote in a tweet tagged with a #PeepTheSchedule hashtag.
— UNF Lacrosse (@unf_lacrosse) December 5, 2017