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Nine Greek Life Organizations Violated New Regulations During Parent's Weekend

by on April 11, 2017 9:03 AM

Though Penn State allowed fraternities and sororities to host one social event involving alcohol this semester — Parent’s Weekend — more than 10 percent violated new regulations imposed last month, according to a letter from university President Eric Barron published on his blog, Digging Deeper.

To the university’s knowledge, nine of 82 Greek organizations violated at least one rule over the weekend. Sigma Alpha Mu violated nearly every regulation and now “faces decisions” by the university, according to the post. Specific consequences aren’t outlined in the blog post, but could be severe, as administrators have made it clear they’re serious about the new regulations. Sigma Alpha Mu was the only organization mentioned by name in the post.

“The drinking was excessive and was not restricted to beer and wine. There was no third-party licensed server. The party was open to anyone and people with no formal association roamed freely in and out with access to handles of liquor. Those roaming in and out included some who were underage,” Barron wrote. “Even some parents were visibly intoxicated.”

Barron said administrators have noticed signs these new regulations might not be able to change the culture surrounding Greek life because students will just “go underground” to continue the condemned behaviors.

The new regulations were imposed as part of Penn State’s promise to reform the Greek community following the death of student Timothy Piazza from traumatic injuries he sustained falling down the steps during bid acceptance at Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Results of the criminal investigation haven’t been released yet, but police say alcohol and hazing may have been involved. Barron’s post confirms Piazza was forced to consume dangerous amounts of alcohol in a hazing ritual.

“After the new rules were announced, an email from an IFC leader was sent to chapters using a derogatory term to describe women, while encouraging members to have the alcohol upstairs and not have it on the main floor where it risks having checkers discover a violation,” he wrote.

If these behaviors and violations don’t change, Barron predicts “many empty houses and then the end of Greek life at Penn State.”

Elissa Hill is managing editor for Onward State.
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