Penn State President Eric Barron and Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims spoke at a press conference Friday afternoon to present the university’s statement following charges the Centre County District Attorney filed against Beta Theta Pi fraternity and 18 of its former brothers.
The duo kept the conference brief — only 15 minutes — and Sims did not address the media at all. Barron began by reading the statement, looking wide-eyed and solemn in the wake of this tragedy for Penn State.
The statement itself reaffirms Penn State’s commitment to continuing the strict Greek life regulations it imposed this semester after Piazza’s death, encouraging students to be mindful of the shared responsibility the Penn State community has to maintain the well-being of all its members.
Other than these regulations, Barron said there’s not much else the university can do.
“Short of us sitting in that house — on private property, privately managed — if people are willing to hide that type of behavior and protect that level of secrecy, I do not see how it is that the university will ever know that it’s happening,” Barron said.
It’s unclear whether Penn State will suspend graduation for any Beta Theta Pi members who were charged by the Centre County District Attorney’s Office. Barron said these students will go through the student conduct process regarding additional punishment from the university.
“We are going to do everything we possibly can,” Barron said. “I never want to do this again.”