Cornell Bans Pledging

By Lindsay Nielsen

August 29, 2011 Updated Aug 29, 2011 at 6:46 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After a hazing incident took the life of 19-year old Cornell student George Desdunes in February, Cornell University felt compelled to make a major change.

Although hazing is against New York State law and was banned at Cornell in 1980,

The Greek system at the University still continued to participate in the dangerous ritual.

But now, the University has banned the pledging process in all fraternities and sororities at Cornell.

It will take affect in 2012-2013, NEXT academic year.

In the last 10 years, nearly 60 percent of fraternity and sorority chapters on campus have been found responsible for activities that are considered hazing under the Cornell code of conduct.

"It's time, especially in the wake of this tragic incident, to change the way the culture is. It is a national problem and Cornell and David Skorton believes that Cornell students should lead the way," says VP of communications at Cornell, Tommy Bruce.

Bruce says the University does not want to drive the risky behavior underground.

It intends to have the leaders of the Greek system at Cornell participate in deciding what new, safe ways they can induct new members.