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American University has expelled 18 students on Monday for their involvement in an "underground student group," reported The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

This off-campus group, known as Epsilon Iota, has been connected to a range of offenses throughout its 15-year existence, including physical violence, hazing, and underage drinking, wrote University administrators in a statement Monday. 

The group was formed by former members of an on-campus fraternity Alpha Tau Omega after the fraternity was disbanded in 2001 for hazing and alcohol violations. 

After changing its student conduct code last year, American University prohibited any student interaction with underground groups that violate university rules.  

American University Interim Vice President of Campus Life Fanta Aw said in the Monday statement that "[Epsilon Iota] has perpetuated and systematically presented a threat to the safety and well-being of our students. This should send a strong message to anyone involved with groups engaged in activities prohibited by the Conduct Code." 

Last year, after after an off-campus organization called OZ sent a sexually offensive email to women in the freshman class, Penn announced the formation of a task force to tackle off-campus groups, which have similarly been linked to incidents of hazing and underage drinking. 

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