Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity placed on interim suspension following social violation

August 20, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Aug. 19, the Penn State Office of Student Conduct placed the Pennsylvania Lambda chapter of Phi Kappa Psi on interim suspension following a social violation.

The suspension is in response to a gathering hosted by the fraternity on Aug. 18, which exceeded state and local government directives and directly violated the University’s policy which states “no socials of any kind” will be approved for Greek-life organizations amid COVID-19 concerns.

Anonymous reports, which included photos and videos shared on social media, depicted more than 15 individuals gathered indoors not wearing face coverings or participating in physical distancing. These actions are a violation of the requirements and expectations for Greek-life chapters announced earlier this summer in a letter by Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, as well as an infringement of the social moratorium issued by the Penn State Interfraternity Council.

"Across the country, other schools and communities are struggling with their return to in-person experiences, and social gatherings are the primary cause," said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. "We need to impress upon all of us the seriousness of this situation, which begins by enforcing the basic requirements of social distancing and masking, and we're determined to do so as clearly and consistently as we can."

As a result of the interim suspension, Phi Kappa Psi will lose all privileges as a recognized student organization pending the outcome of the investigation. The organization may not participate, attend or organize any functions, activities or events, or participate in University-wide events as an organization. This action was taken with the support of the chapter’s national organization, as well as the Penn State Interfraternity Council. 

In an effort to uphold the health and safety of the entire Penn State community during the current pandemic, guidelines and requirements have been established by the University for a safe return to on-campus learning. In addition to the expectations for Greek-life chapters, the Penn State COVID-19 Compact addresses the personal responsibilities that each student must abide for ongoing safety within the community. 

Last Updated September 22, 2020