Significant progress of new measures implementation made for Greek-letter orgs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State today (Oct. 13) launched a key measure — the Greek Chapter Score Card — designed to help students and families make informed decisions about membership in a Greek-letter organization. Additionally, the Penn State Hotline has been streamlined for expedited response to allegations of hazing.

The implementation of these additional efforts marks the completion of another of the aggressive measures that were announced on Aug. 21, 2017, all of which focus on promoting student safety in the University’s Greek-letter community.

“The Greek Chapter Score Card is an important step toward engaging students in these significant changes. Other impactful actions include shifting the oversight of disciplinary cases from the Greek organizations to the University and the drop-in monitoring of Greek-letter houses by University personnel,” President Eric Barron said. “We are being aggressive and we are being persistent, but we can’t do this alone. It is our hope that by working with students, their parents, alumni and others, we can achieve a productive and contributing community for our students. But above all, our primary focus remains clear: Safety comes first.”

The Greek Chapter Score Card displays critical information from the 2017 spring semester, including elements such as total members, cumulative GPA, alcohol and hazing violations, as well as any chapter suspensions. This will be updated each semester and available for potential new members, parents and the entire Penn State community to review.

The Penn State Hotline, already in place, has now been streamlined for intake of hazing misconduct allegations, that will then be sent directly to the Student Conduct Office and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life for investigation. Anyone can call the hotline at 1-800-560-1637 or report incidents online. Callers can choose to provide their names or remain anonymous.

In addition to these new measures, the University expects to implement the Greek-letter organization relationship statement in the coming weeks. The relationship statement will clarify the respective rights and responsibilities of the University, the governing councils, chapters and their members and in accordance with the law and University policies, reinforce expectations and key safety measures that must be followed. Students will sign the relationship statement as a part of their initiation into the fraternity and sorority community and University staff will review the statement with new members at a mandatory educational meeting.  All current members also will be required to sign the statement.

The collective actions instituted at the start of the semester are a fundamental shift from the historic self-governance model for fraternities and sororities that prevails at universities across the nation — including, until recently, at Penn State. For all measures, Penn State is doing all it can to hold each chapter and individual member accountable and, if necessary, the University will take disciplinary action up to ceasing to recognize the organization and expelling individual students.

“Our University team has been extremely focused on the implementation of these measures, and the work will continue,” Barron said. “Implementation relies heavily on our partnership with chapters, alumni boards, housing boards, councils and national organizations. Their commitment to putting student safety first, and encouraging chapter members to bring safety issues to the forefront, is essential and non-negotiable.”

Last Updated October 13, 2017