- Pi Beta Phi President Describes Threats to the Greek World
- Pi Kappa Alpha Dismissed from Sexual Assault Case
- Penn State: New Measures Hope for a New Beginning
- Darmouth College and the Town of Hanover, NH, A Dystopian Partnership
- Harvard Controversy is not Over
- American Bar Association Task Force Seeks Balance in College Sexual Assault Disciplinary Proceeding
- Sorority Announces Policy on Trans and Non-binary Inclusion
- Federal Court Emphasizes Importance of Procedural Fairness
- 18 Students Expelled for Membership in Underground Group
Newsletter > September 2017 > "Penn State: New Measures Hope for a New Beginning"
Penn State: New Measures Hope for a New Beginning
Amy Hebbeler, Manley Burke, email@example.com
The wait of the Greek nation is over as Penn State students start back to classes and the comprehensive measures regarding Greek life at the University have been put into place. On August 21st the oversight and discipline of the Greek groups were transitioned to the University. To assist in the new monitoring of the Greek organizations, Penn State is expanding their staff which includes eight individuals specifically dedicated to random checks of the Greek organizations for compliance with the University policies. Although the University expectations are that the monitoring will take place in common areas of the chapter houses, there is no language in those expectations limiting the checks to the common areas. Additionally, the Neighborhood Enforcement Alcohol Team has been reinstated, which is a collaboration of police officers from various departments who focus on enforcement and education in the downtown neighborhoods and conduct pre-party checks.1
Further, the previous restrictions established in the Spring of 2017 regarding the limitation of alcohol and social events remain in place. Deferred recruitment has also been implemented along with limitations on the length of the new member process (pledging) and the implementation of a Greek membership fee, which will begin in spring of 2018.2 The University’s New Member Training Plan can be found at http://news.psu.edu/photo/478392/2017/08/21/greek-letter-organizations-new-member-training-plan. The Penn State Fraternity and Sorority Life office has also posted a comprehensive brochure on their website setting out the new measures for Fall 2017 which can be found at http://news.psu.edu/photo/478391/2017/08/21/greek-letter-organizations-new-measures.
Penn State President Eric Barron stated, “We have quickly instituted an expanded series of strategies that defines a new relationship between the University and its Greek-letter organizations.”3 However, the University is not planning on this being a stagnant plan but more of a fluid process. It plans to adapt the new measures as they are assessed throughout the year.4 Though, it does not appear likely that Penn State will ban Greek life altogether. President Barron stated, “If Penn State were to disassociate completely from these organizations, the safety of our students’ environment would not be improved, and the sustainability of a system that has the potential to add value to student lives is not enhanced.”5
Campus is not the only place where things are progressing regarding the aftermath of the death of Tim Piazza. On September 1st the judge in the criminal case against the fraternity members dismissed the most serious charges that the members were facing, including involuntary manslaughter and varying degrees of assault. Some see this ruling as a setback for combating the dark history of hazing while others see this ruling as fair as this was a tragedy that did not justify those serious charges. However, fourteen of the members are still facing lesser charges such as hazing and furnishing alcohol to a minor.6
1 Information in this paragraph from Penn State, “Penn State Greek-letter orgs to face change as aggressive new measures launch” Penn State News (August 21, 2017) available at http://news.psu.edu/story/478388/2017/08/21/administration/penn-state-greek-letter-orgs-face-change-aggressive-new.
2 Id. (information in this paragraph)
5 Eric J. Barron, “Penn State President: ‘Self-governance’ for Fraternities and Sororities needs to end.” USA Today (August 21, 2017) available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/08/21/after-timothy-piazza-penn-state-crack-down-fraternity-sorority-hazing-drinking-eric-barron-column/584222001/.
6 Information in this paragraph from Jess Bidgood, “Judge Throws Out Most Serious Charges in Penn State Hazing Case,” The New York Times (September 1, 2017) available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/us/judge-throws-out-most-serious-charges-in-penn-state-hazing-case.html?emc=edit_th_20170902&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=29167177.