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New Focus on Greek System With Second Fraternity Suspended

by on April 03, 2015 11:15 AM

For the second time in recent weeks alleged misconduct at a Penn State fraternity is raising serious questions about life within the university's Greek system.

Thursday evening, in a story first reported by Onward State, the university's Interfraternity Council Executive Board voted to revoke recognition of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity for at least three years.

According to a statement released by the IFC, Pi Kappa Phi, located at 409 East Fairmount Ave., violated multiple policies including "hazing, alcohol violations, disorderly conduct, providing false information, hosting unregistered social functions, and violating the terms of suspension during the investigation."

The IFC did not go into details but says Pi Kappa Phi's actions are "shameful and inexcusable," adding that the behaviors "will not be tolerated" at Penn State.

Phone calls to Pi Kappa Phi, seeking comment, were not answered.

However, the fraternity's national office says it has ordered the closure of the Penn State chapter. "The students' recent actions have demonstrated their inability and unwillingness to abide by clear expectations," says a statement from the fraternity's headquarters.

The statement also says the Penn State chapter of Pi Kappa Phi will not be allowed to occupy its fraternity house before April of 2018. In addition, "The current student members ... will not be permitted to affiliate with the chapter when Pi Kappa Phi returns to campus."

On March 17, another Penn State fraternity, Kappa Delta Rho, was suspended for allegedly posting photos of drug deals, hazing rituals and nude women on a private Facebook page. Those allegations prompted a firestorm of outrage and national headlines.

In response to the KDR situation, Penn State President Eric Barron announced plans to review the entire fraternity and sorority system.On March 23, Barron released a statement assailing "the intolerable and disturbing actions of members of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity in creating a Facebook page depicting activities that are totally unacceptable."

Asked if this latest fraternity suspension is cause for concern, the university says it "reinforces" Barron's desire to examine fraternity and sorority life. "The president and Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, are working to carefully construct a task force that is representative and knowledgeable on the issues. We are determined to gather the input and information needed to ensure this review is thoughtful, comprehensive and complete," says Penn State spokesperson Reidar Jensen in an email."

The task force will reportedly be looking at sexual misconduct, hazing and alcohol abuse, as well as accountability within the Greek system.

That task force was supposed to be assembled this week but has now been delayed. The university says the need to "ensure good outcomes" led the administration to slow the process down so a qualified task force could be put together.

 

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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