Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity's recognition suspended through spring 2019

January 16, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has suspended recognition of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity through the spring 2019 semester. The revocation of recognition results from a student conduct investigation into allegations of misconduct that surfaced in fall 2017. The investigation found that Sigma Alpha Epsilon had multiple alcohol violations during a 12-week period, some of which included underage drinking and an emergency transport to Mount Nittany Medical Center. The chapter repeatedly failed to comply with widely publicized University regulations during this time.

As part of more than a dozen new measures announced on Aug. 21, 2017, to provide enhanced support to the University’s Greek-letter community and promote student safety, Greek organizations must comply with strict social policies. Social policies, which are aimed at preventing underage and excessive drinking include: maximum of 10 social functions per chapter, per semester; alcohol can only be served by a third-party vendor or RAMP trained servers; and only beer and wine may be served, kegs not permitted.

The loss of recognition means that Sigma Alpha Epsilon 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.

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 re-establish 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.

Last Updated January 16, 2018