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Baltimore Sun: Maryland Greek issue updated

A sorority and six students filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday alleging that the University of Maryland violated their First Amendment rights during an investigation into hazing.

The university in a March 1 directive ordered all fraternities and sororities to suspend social activities while the school probed activity that “threatened” the safety of the school community.

The lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland alleges that during its investigation the school required sorority members to submit to mandatory interrogations by attorneys retained by the university under the threat of discipline.

“During the interrogations, some students’ cell phones were improperly searched by investigators who threatened individual disciplinary charges against any interviewees who refused to turn over their cell phones,” the lawsuit says. “During the interrogations, students were not permitted to be accompanied, in-person, by their own attorneys.”

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By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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