Penn State President Reacts to Frat Investigation
Penn State president Eric Barron says an investigation into the Facebook posting of nude photographs by a now-suspended fraternity points to the possible need for a re-evaluation of the entire fraternity system.
Barron issued a statement to the Penn State community, saying some senior university leaders see a need for such a review.
In previous interviews, Barron had emphasized the need to focus on individual actions rather than blaming an entire institution.
Kappa Delta Rho was suspended for a year by its national organization over allegations that members shared frat house photos of nude and partly nude women on a private, invitation-only Facebook page. The nude photos include some of women who appear to be asleep or passed out.
Barron says some students could be expelled over the pictures.
Eric Barron said of the webpage: "It's very sad, and it's very offensive.''
Police in State College are investigating the allegations.
According to a warrant, the invitation-only page had 144 active members, including students and alumni.
Police said some of the photos they had seen showed women in "sexual or embarrassing positions.''
While some of the women photographed appeared to be aware their pictures were being taken, others did not, police said in court documents.
Barron says the university is working with police to determine the number of offenders and victims and will hold those responsible accountable for what they did.
"This is the kind of behavior that can get someone expelled,'' he said.
Police have said they have identified at least two photographs that could lead to criminal charges but the investigation is ongoing.
A young man who answered the door earlier this week at Kappa Delta Rho said the fraternity had no comment.
No-trespassing signs were posted by Wednesday.
Police were tipped off about the Facebook account on January 18 by a former fraternity member who shared printouts of some of the pictures.
The printouts were included in some of the court documents provided Tuesday to news outlets -- a move police later said was a mistake.
Police said anyone who posted the photos could face misdemeanor charges of harassment or invasion of privacy, with a fine being the most likely penalty.
They also added they expected some women would only want to have the photos removed and not press charges.
More than 4,000 undergraduates at the State College campus belong to one of the 50 fraternity chapters governed by the Interfraternity Council.