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Penn State Accused Of Greek Organization Violations

Penn State alumni and National Interfraternity Conference (NIC) members are calling out the University for the way they say they’ve treated Greek organizations over the last several years.

Representatives from the National Interfraternity Conference say that Penn State has been “violating student and property rights” when it comes to governing its Greek organizations since the tragic death of former Penn State student Timothy Piazza in 2017. They say they want to work with the university, but there’s been a lack of communication from Penn State.

“They perceive that fraternities and sororities are unsafe and we would argue the opposite, so a lot of those policies that were part of the Greek safety plan and then the secret agreement that Penn State put in place with the Piazza family have really maybe gone overboard and almost stretch to borderline harassment,”

Lundy says the ‘Greek Safety Plan,’ established in 2017, was supposed to help improve chapter operations. He says since then the university has gotten “out of control,” using intimidation tactics, violating property rights, and making students prove their innocence instead of it being assumed.

“Most of the charges, most of them, not all of them, don’t have the wherewithal that they would stand up in court,”

He says that there are currently 17 fraternities facing some sort of suspension.

“One fraternity this year was charged with hazing because new members held up letters at THON, One of the things that’s become commonplace is if anyone says they drank at a fraternity, the fraternity is charged with or without evidence,”

According to Penn State, 70 fraternities and sororities are affiliated with the university, and thousands of students are involved in Greek life.

In June, Lundy says he sent out a document to the office of the Penn State President, Neeli Bendapudi, that outlined these issues. He says there was input from many fraternity alumni advisor’s and student leaders.

“Our students are great, they are not bad, and they should not be treated like they’re criminals,”

In a statement provided to us, Penn State says that safety is a priority for all student organizations and that fraternities and sororities are an important part of the Penn State community. They say many of the claims referenced by Lundy in his document sent to President Bendapudi are “not factual” and that they are currently pursuing several initiatives to help Greek life succeed at Penn State.

From Penn State University:

Safety is a priority for all student organizations. Our policies and procedures are aimed at supporting a positive experience for every student and are consistently applied to all recognized student organizations. We know that fraternities and sororities have a proud history and are an important part of the tradition and community at Penn State. The University remains committed to partnering with students, advisers, alumni, national organizations and others to maintain a robust fraternity and sorority community that can thrive safely.

Many of the claims referenced in the document are not factual. Importantly, the many referenced safeguards are intended to keep our students protected, and are reviewed and updated over time. University policies and processes are public and available to all for review, and our commitment to the well-being of our students has not wavered.

Our Student Accountability and Conflict Response office is thoughtful and intentional in how it handles any allegations of misconduct. Any action taken is based solely on the facts discovered and if warranted, during an official investigation. We believe that the students’ experience and their health and safety are enhanced when chapters are affiliated with the University and partner with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Of note, the vast majority of fraternities and sororities (70 chapters across four councils, with 35 being Interfraternity Council chapters) are affiliated with the University and represent over 6,800 students having an exceptional fraternity and sorority experience.

The University is currently pursuing several initiatives, informed by feedback from our fraternity and sorority communities, that enhance leadership, service, philanthropy, brotherhood and sisterhood, and will help fraternities and sororities succeed.

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