Ohio University suspended all of the Interfraternity Council’s 15 chapters on campus Thursday, citing widespread allegations of hazing.

Activities for those 15 chapters, which represent nearly 1,000 students, have been suspended until further notice because of “a growing concern elevated by allegations of hazing against seven” fraternity chapters, the university said in a news release. There are 35 Greek chapters on campus; most of the 20 not affected are service chapters organized by business and other majors.

Meanwhile, a grand jury indicted 18 men Wednesday on 64 charges after a Miami University student said he was beaten with a spiked paddle, kicked and forced to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana during a fraternity hazing ritual this year. The student said he was a pledge at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, where the alleged abuse took place in March.

The OU announcement comes amidst The Columbus Dispatch’s investigation into hazing activities at Ohio campuses, including the Nov. 12 death of Collin Wiant at an Ohio University fraternity’s off-campus annex.

Wiant, an 18-year-old freshman from Dublin, Ohio, was pledging the Sigma Pi fraternity’s Epsilon Chapter at the time of his death, OU said. But the local fraternity and its parent organization said he was no longer a pledge.

OU is urging any student who has been subjected to or witnessed hazing to come forward through the university’s website.

“We realize that not every fraternity is involved in hazing practices, but we also know that this problem is widespread, and that for every hazing incident that is reported, there are a multitude of hazing incidents that go unreported,” Kathleen Wiant, Collin’s mom, said in a statement to The Dispatch. “OU has taken a smart step with this measure to protect the safety and dignity of these young men.

“Other colleges and universities must follow suit to ensure that no more students are seriously injured, or worse yet die from this senseless behavior,” she texted.

In its letter to fraternity and sorority chapter presidents, OU said some chapters failed to live up to the standards and values set forth by the university.

The letter referenced the expulsion of Sigma Pi last spring. The university said earlier this week it received allegations that two chapters were hazing new members and those chapters were given cease-and-desist letters.

Ohio University on Wednesday ordered the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter to shut down, according to records provided to The Dispatch.

The school ordered Ohio’s chapter of the ACACIA fraternity to suspend activities two days ago.

The university said Wednesday it received allegations of hazing involving five more chapters. Those chapters were also given cease-and-desist letters.

“It is deeply troubling that seven of our chapters have been or will be under investigation this semester for possible violations of the University’s Student Code of Conduct,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, the dean of students, in a written statement. “These troubling allegations, which will be thoroughly investigated, indicate a potentially escalating systemic culture within our (Interfraternity Council) organizations, and Ohio University will not put at risk the health and safety of our students.”

Judson Horras, president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, said in a statement that “hazing is a serious societal issue, and we strongly believe in holding individuals accountable. However, Ohio University’s suspension that impacts students not accused of misconduct is not the right approach to address this critical issue. It disincentivizes students who are following the rules.”

Hall-Jones said it is OU’s hope that the council will develop a plan and timeline to guarantee a culture change. She also said forums will be held with students to begin a “proactive dialogue.”

Until then, there are to be no activities by the 15 suspended fraternity chapters, including organized participation in Ohio University’s Homecoming next week. Those living in fraternity houses can remain there.

“When you consider that at least seven OU fraternities have continued hazing after the Wiant death, you start to see that no amount of anti-hazing activism will ever shut down hazing,” said Hank Nuwer, a professor at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, near Indianapolis. He tracks hazing deaths and is author of the book “Hazing: Destroying Young Lives.”

“The best thing to do if schools can not shut down hazing is to shut the organizations themselves,” he said.

The move by OU isn’t unprecedented, even among Ohio universities.

In November 2017, Ohio State University imposed a temporary blanket suspension of all 37 of its fraternities governed by the Interfraternity Council, citing a high number of investigations into their conduct that semester. At the time, the university said 11 fraternities were under investigation.

In the months that followed, a number of those fraternities were punished for breaking numerous rules relating to hazing, alcohol consumption and what the university calls endangering behavior. Some were placed on probationary status while others were suspended for between three and five years.

Miami University announced a little more than a month ago it had suspended Delta Tau Delta for 10 to 15 years after a university investigation found the fraternity had violated the school’s code of conduct. The fraternity had already been suspended shortly after the paddling and hazing incident occurred.

The student pledge filed an incident report in which he said he had to be taken to a hospital, where he spent seven hours, and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.231, the Dayton Daily News reported.

An investigation by Oxford police and Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser’s office led Gmoser to present the case to a grand jury. The indictment against the 18 fraternity members contains charges of assault and hazing, first- and fourth-degree misdemeanors.

Gmoser declined to discuss details of the investigation.

“I have to be very, very cautious,” he told the Dayton Daily News. “I am going to have a swarm of attorneys poring over this case from all parts of the state of Ohio I am sure. The last thing I am going to do at this early stage is make any comments about the investigation, who it involves and what there is involved beyond the elements of the indictment.”

Delta Tau Delta’s national organization has revoked the Miami University chapter’s charter, and the organization has said it is committed to addressing hazing.

Columbus Dispatch reporter Mike Wagner and The Associated Press contributed to this story.