Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity's recognition suspended through spring 2019

December 01, 2017

Penn State University announced today that it is suspending recognition for Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity until at least the end of the 2019 spring semester. The revocation of recognition results from a student conduct investigation into allegations of misconduct that surfaced earlier this fall. The investigation found that Alpha Sigma Phi had engaged in hazing, forced alcohol consumption, and other misbehaviors that endangered members in the 2016 fall semester.

Hazing is prohibited by University policy and Pennsylvania law and is defined, in part, as any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student. The University has declared its intention to do all it can to end the practice of hazing among its students. In the past two years alone, 13 fraternity or sorority chapters at Penn State have lost University recognition due to a range of misbehavior, including hazing.

The loss of recognition means that Alpha Sigma Phi no longer enjoys the privileges associated with recognized student organizations at Penn State. These privileges include participation in THON, Homecoming, intramurals, and other University sanctioned activities, use of University facilities, and access to student fee funding. The chapter remains chartered by its national organization, but the national organization is aware of these findings of misconduct, as well as more recent criminal charges brought against the chapter by the State College Police. The latter charges involve the furnishing of liquor to minors.

Penn State has created a team of employees who monitor the social activities of Greek-life organizations. When misbehavior is discovered, or otherwise is reported to the University, any disciplinary action that results is managed by the University’s Office of Student Conduct. Revocation of recognition is the most serious consequence the University can impose on student organizations.

These processes are aimed at curbing the misuse of alcohol, hazing, sexual assault, and overly large disruptive gatherings in the fraternity and sorority community. The combination of more than a dozen new measures is unprecedented in its scope, and is intended to reestablish safety as the foremost priority among these organizations, which have traditionally been self-governing. The self-governance for Greek-letter organizations is being challenged across the country, as university after university experiences student injury and death resulting from activities within fraternities.

“There should be no doubt among our students, their parents, alumni and community members that Penn State is determined to point these organizations toward greater safety, success and sustainability,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims. “When they fall short, there will be consequences, and only time will tell whether they can achieve the change that is so clearly required.”


Last Updated December 01, 2017