Greek Life still facing hazing penalties

Jess Barnett, News Editor

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In the Fall 2018 semester, all Greek life was put on suspension due to allegations of hazing, which resulted in a launch of an external investigation and suspending several Greek organizations; they were told to stop all new member activities.  

AASCU – Penson Center for Professional Development was hired to conduct the review. There was a total of 73 staff members interviewed and 45 students in Greek life interviewed throughout the semester.

Another way the investigators collected data was by using online surveys, which 276 Greek alumni responded to along with nine chapter presidents and six alumni advisors.

At the end of the fall semester there were strengths and weaknesses of Greek life that were listed as a result of this external investigation.

The strengths of Greek life included (but are not limited to) opportunities of leadership, resume building experiences, social life, community service and philanthropic activities, participation in the Big Event, and positive relationship with the police.

Some of the weaknesses that were found included Greek housing, inconsistent chapter advising, no formal risk management program and lack of leadership training programs.

According to President Hanna, the external investigators, Saul Ewing & Lehr LLP, shared their findings about incidents that happened within our Greek life community, “all of which are deeply troubling.”

 The incidents that were found during this investigation affected the health and safety of students and included allegations of assault, forced ingestion, and physical and mental abuse.

The investigation for Greek organizations will be ongoing and carry on through the spring semester.

Only certain fraternities and sororities were told to continue with their new member activities in the spring. Several Greek organizations have been placed on “interim suspension” in response to the review.

The fraternities put on interim suspension include Kappa Delta Rho, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Iota Omega, and Tau Kappa Epsilon. The sorority put on interim suspension was Phi Iota Chi.

To improve the Greek life experience moving forward, new requirements will be put into place for all members of fraternities and sororities starting this semester.

This will include mandatory educational sessions on various topics.

Some recommendations given include continuing to review hazing policies, actively seek best practices for Greek Life programs throughout Pennsylvania, seek more ways to involve alumni in the Greek life program, and to begin a discussion across campus in ways to come up with a risk management strategy.