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Reports cite blackout drinking, assaults

EUGENE — Fraternity and sorority members at the University of Oregon earn social status by drinking themselves into a stupor, according to a report commissioned by the school.

The report also found that many UO fraternities continue to haze new members, sometimes off campus, reported The Register-Guard. It also found that rapes are hushed up to protect the reputations of fraternities and sororities.

"I have kids of that age," said Robin Holmes, UO Vice President for Student Life. "It really scares you because you know that it can lead to death. It's very, very serious."

About 4,000 UO students live in the school's 20 frats and 12 sororities. The external review of the school's Greek life was conducted by Mark Koepsell, a consultant and former college administrator, and Jeremiah Schinn, interim associate vice president for student affairs at Boise State Univerity.

Koepsell and Schinn interviewed more than 100 faculty, staff, students, alumni, advisers and law enforcement. They say they discovered consistent references to a culture of blackout drinking, hazing and pressure not to report sexual violence.

Holmes called the results "very disappointing" but said UO officials "weren't particularly surprised."

The report follows the university's March decision to disassociate with the local chapter of Beta Theta Phi. Holmes says the school took action in consultation in the national Beta Theta Pi organization because of "long-standing and repeated hazing violations, alcohol violations — things that were really too high risk."

A request for comment from the house where former fraternity members live was not returned.