Alpha Psi v. Bond

March 2024
University of Maryland (Public college or university)
College Park, Maryland

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
  • Incident Political Orientation:
    Not Clear
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    In litigation Federal District Court
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


On March 1st, the University of Maryland (UMD) issued perhaps one of the broadest blanket bans on Greek life in the country. Under this ban, current members from barred from talking to new/prospective members about concerns about possible hazing, members were barred from hosting on- or off-campus events where alcohol is present, and all new member programs were suspended. The University also stated that “[f]ailure to abide by this directive will result in disciplinary action.” These restrictions came at an especially inopportune time as UMD’s fraternities and sororities were set to hold “rush,” the annual period when they recruit new members, in March.

The University claimed that the ban was in response to concerns that students were engaging in “hazing behaviors and harmful alcohol-related activities within the fraternity and sorority community” However, a few days later, the University admitted that there was no such incident and that “[o]ur decision was made to prevent such a significant incident.” In any event, the University hired INCompliance, a consulting firm, to help investigate the allegations and interview students. In total, the firm conducted more than 150 interviews.

However, students did not take this ban lying down. On March 13, four fraternities filed a lawsuit in federal court against the University, alleging that it had violated their First Amendment freedom to associate and freedom of speech. The students also argued that the ban had deprived them of their liberty interests without adequate procedural due process.

Facing the threat of a judge’s ruling, the University quickly backed down. On March 15, the University announced that they would lift the restrictions for most fraternities and sororities. However, they also stated that some of the restrictions would remain in place for the five chapters still under investigation for hazing concerns. The students’ lawsuit is still ongoing.