Penn State Announces New Greek Life Restrictions

Jun 2, 2017

Feb. 17, 2014, file photo of Penn State president Eric Barron.
Credit Ralph Wilson / AP Photo

Penn State president Eric Barron says the university will become a national leader in reforming the college fraternity and sorority system. That’s after the hazing-related death of Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

In a special meeting, Penn State trustees unanimously accepted a slate of new safety measures and regulations for Greek life. Reforms include zero tolerance for hazing involving alcohol or physical or mental risk to students, a Greek monitoring committee, parent education about Greek life and a fee per member to pay for police services and spot checks of fraternities. And Barron says Penn State will deal with disciplinary issues in the Greek system instead of students.

“Central to this is university control of the Greek misconduct process," Barron said. "Essentially, we are removing IFC and Panhellenic controls on evaluation and adjudication of misbehavior.”

Barron also says a new mandatory education program might require students entering a Greek organization to read the grand jury presentment outlining the death of Timothy Piazza.

Before today’s meeting, James and Evelyn Piazza sent a letter to trustees calling for the firing of two university officials and the expulsion of any students culpable in their son’s death. These measures were not among the adopted reforms.

Meanwhile in Harrisburg, three ex-Penn State officials are getting jail time for failing to report now-convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky to authorities. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier and former vice president Gary Schultz will spend two months in jail. Former athletic director Tim Curley will spend three months in jail. The rest of their sentences will be served under house arrest.