Fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu has been suspended for at least two years by Penn State, the university announced Thursday.
“Sigma Alpha Mu knowingly violated every rule that was imposed,” vice president of student affairs Damon Sims said. “This behavior is not consistent with our University values and is in direct opposition to the changes required if we are to have a healthy, successful and sustainable Greek-letter system at Penn State.”
The violations reportedly occurred during Parents Weekend, where the fraternity violated regulations set by the university in the wake of student Timothy Piazza’s death at Beta Theta Pi in February. The university didn’t sugarcoat how it’d respond to violations in a press release on March 30. “When discovered, any violations of these expectations will result in appropriate and significant disciplinary action,” the press release stated.
Sims met with fraternity leadership with other members of student affairs, and stated that the fraternity’s president was forthcoming about the violations.
A key component of Parents Weekend stipulations was found in how alcohol would be served at events. University regulations stated a third party vendor must serve alcohol to legal-aged consumers. There was no third party server present, along with open alcohol access with no monitoring and additional members present at the event aside from fraternity members and their parents — all three of which are part of the violations made by the fraternity.
“In a gesture of trust, we believed that Parents Weekend would be the appropriate way to pilot new regulations and gain cooperation from the Greek-letter community,” Sims said. “Unfortunately, this fraternity egregiously took advantage of its trial opportunity, despite our clear expectations and the well-publicized consequences for violations.”
Sims was blunt in his reiteration of the university’s commitment to enforcing these regulations — along with the subsequent consequences that come with violating said regulations.
“We remain hopeful that our Greek-letter community, including undergraduate members, their parents and alumni, understand the University’s wholehearted commitment to these new expectations, and our determination to help our fraternities and sororities avoid outcomes that threaten their continued success,” Sims said. “Only by earnestly working together will we achieve the results the entire Penn State community should expect.”