Penn State has suspended Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity through summer 2024 for allegations of misconduct related to hazing, the university announced on Friday.
Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct launched a joint investigation with the fraternity’s national headquarters after receiving allegations of hazing during the new member education process. It also received allegations involving furnishing alcohol to minors and violating Penn State’s recruitment regulations.
The university recommended the suspension and Sigma Tau Gamma’s national organization revoked the chapter's charter on Sept. 28 following an internal appeals process.
While on suspension, Sigma Tau Gamma loses all privileges of a recognized student organization. It won’t be able to participate, attend, or organize functions, activities, or events. Additionally, it can’t participate in university-wide events as an organization.
“Hazing in any form must become unacceptable to all of us,” Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, said. “Until all of our students demonstrate an understanding of that simple truth, we will offer educational programming to prevent them from hazing and aggressively respond in every instance where they do.”
Penn State’s hazing reform measures, adopted in 2017, remain in effect, according to the university. They aim to improve student safety and focus on alcohol misuse, hazing, sexual assault, and “overly large disruptive gatherings,” according to the university
“The University remains focused on student safety and well-being and will continue to hold accountable any individuals or student organizations that put others at risk,” a statement from Penn State said.
Pennsylvania’s Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, signed into law in October 2018, created a tiered penalty system for hazing across the state. It’s named after Tim Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore who sustained fatal injuries at a pledge event at the now-banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity.