Clemson shuts down two dozen fraternities in one month

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Image: Tillman Hall, Clemson University/WHNS/CNN

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(CNN) — A month into the fall semester, Clemson University has pulled the plug on two dozen fraternities. The university opted to halt all social and new member activities on the South Carolina campus after the death of a student and a “high number” of reported incidents involving fraternities.

Student Affairs Vice President Gail DiSabatino cited complaints “ranging from alcohol related medical emergencies to sexual misconduct” as contributing to the decision. “These behaviors are unacceptable and mandate swift and effective action to protect students,” DiSabatino said in a press release. “There is no higher priority than the safety and welfare of our students.”

“It is especially prudent to suspend fraternity activities given the tragic death of Tucker Hipps,” she said.

Hipps was found dead on Monday.

The 19-year-old sophomore went for a run with his fraternity early Monday morning and did not come back, according to the university. His fraternity brothers searched for him and eventually went to campus police.

At 3:30 that afternoon, an officer found Hipps’ body in nearby Lake Hartwell close to a bridge.

The local sheriff’s office is investigating and it said there is nothing to indicate that “hazing played a part in the death.”

An autopsy revealed the teen likely fell, according to CNN affiliate WHNS. The coroner told WHNS the teen had a head injury consistent with a fall from a height of 20 feet or more.

CNN’s Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

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