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Amherst extends ban on fraternities, sororities to include 'underground' organizations

Amherst College has extended a 3-decade-old ban on fraternities and sororities to include off-campus "underground" organizations.

The trustees said in an email Tuesday that students who join "off-campus fraternities and sororities, and fraternity-like and sorority-like organizations" are subject to suspension or expulsion. The policy takes effect July 1.

Amherst is one of six Massachusetts schools and 55 U.S. schools under federal investigation over their handling of sexual assault cases.

The prestigious liberal arts college barred on-campus fraternities in 1984 after a trustees subcommittee determined that Amherst "can be better without fraternities than it can with them." At that time, some Greek organizations took on what the trustees called "underground" status.

The trustees' decision came after a school committee recommended last year that underground fraternities and sororities be reviewed.

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