Penn State Students Won’t Be Disciplined For East Halls, Fraternity Parties If They Get Tested

Aug 24, 2020

Penn State has begun investigations into two large social gatherings that violated the university’s COVID-19 safety protocols. But the university says it’s not considering disciplinary actions for those who attended. 

Penn State placed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter and its leaders on summary suspension Sunday, after university monitors found about 70 students attended a party Saturday and chapter leaders refused to comply with monitors’ orders. 

All members of the chapter were required to be tested for COVID-19 on Sunday. The university also set up a pop-up testing site outside of East Halls, where a large gathering of students took place last week. 

Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said no disciplinary action will be initiated against students who participated in the East Halls gathering or the Pi Kappa Alpha party as long as they get tested. But the university is investigating those who might have initiated the two gatherings. 

The university also suspended another fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, for hosting a gathering last week.

In a statement, Sims urged students to comply with public health mandates to avoid having to “pack up” just as the fall semester begins.

"Among the last things I want to do is suspend students or student organizations," Sims said. "But the very last thing I want to do is allow a small subset of our University population to send all of us home because it chose to ignore the requirements each of us must abide, and we will do all we reasonably can to avoid that outcome."