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Barron Announces Members of Task Force to Examine Greek System

by on September 24, 2015 2:00 PM

Eric Barron's plan to evaluate and improve the Greek life system at Penn State is coming to fruition. 

Back in March, the Penn State president announced his intention to form a task force to review the system after the Kappa Delta Rho scandal made national news.

This is the second such task force formed by Barron, following one on sexual assault and harassment that is already showing results through changes within the administration.

Barron announced the 25 members of his task force to study fraternity and sorority life at Penn State and outlined some potential areas of focus for the group.

He suggested developing criteria that parents and students can use to evaluate Penn State's fraternities and sororities. Barron also proposed forming user-friendly ways for that data to be accessed, which he said "could serve as an early-warning system for potential problems."

Barron also proposed that the task force examine "the balance of the university, local communities, fraternity and sorority governing councils, advisers and housing corporations, and national Greek-letter organization."

The fourth and final possible area of focus is that the task force seek student opinions on the Greek life system at Penn State.

Emily McDonald, the University Park Undergraduate Association president and a sorority member, is one of the 25 people selected by Barron to serve on the task force. She called the task force "necessary" and said she is happy to serve on it and take part in a thorough examination of Greek life's role at Penn State.

"There are so many positive things that Greeks bring to our community, but they are often outweighed by the negatives," she said. "I believe that the group of administrators, students, faculty, and community members that were chosen will be able to evaluate all sides of the matter to create a more positive future for Greek Life at Penn State."

Barron noted in his letter charging the task force that the Greek system is inherently a good thing for the university.

"The individual organizations that comprise this community develop strong connections for their alumni, bridging members to one another and enhancing their deep and abiding connections to Penn State,” Barron said. “The importance of this network of organizations cannot be overstated. We are proud of its rich history and many of the traditions it sustains."

With that in mind, he noted that there are challenges facing the system, including concerns about alcohol, hazing, sexual misconduct, racial and other biases, and town-gown tensions. The task force's membership includes representatives from the student body, State College residents, borough leadership, the administration, and Greek life.

The 25 members of the task force are listed below:

  • Diane Andrews -- assistant vice president for Housing, Food Services and Residence Life
  • Patricia Antolosky -- chapter adviser, Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority
  • Roy Baker -- director for Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Ankit Bhasin -- president, Multicultural Greek Council
  • Ron Binder -- associate dean of students, University of Pittsburgh Bradford
  • Jeff Bower -- chapter adviser, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
  • Mark Brennan -- chair, Student Life Committee, University Faculty Senate
  • Gina D’Amato Kaufman -- director for Student Affairs, Penn State Abington
  • Brittany Fisher -- president, National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Tom Fountaine -- manager, State College borough
  • Rick Groves -- president, Interfraternity Council
  • Peg Hambrick -- resident, Highlands neighborhood, State College
  • Tom King -- chief, State College Police Department
  • Rod Kirsch -- senior vice president for Development and Alumni Relations
  • Shawn Lichvar -- president, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments
  • Emily McDonald -- president, University Park Undergraduate Association
  • Earl Merritt -- director, Multicultural Equity Programs, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Rob Pangborn -- vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education
  • Abby Renko -- president, Panhellenic Association
  • David Rodriguez -- president, Phi Delta Psi Eta Hispanic Fraternity
  • Jeff Rundle -- director of chapter services and general counsel, Beta Theta Pi Foundation
  • Danny Shaha -- director, Office of Student Conduct
  • Damon Sims -- vice president for Student Affairs
  • Jim Strauss -- chair-elect, University Faculty Senate
  • Susan Venegoni -- president, Highlands Neighborhood Association, State College

Sims will chair the task force, which doesn't yet have a set timetable for its work. The task force was prompted by the KDR scandal, in which it came to light that members of the fraternity allegedly hosted a private Facebook page filled with photos of drug deals, hazing rituals, and photos of nude, unconscious women. 

Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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