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Altoona Fraternity Suspended for Six Years Amidst Hazing Investigation

Penn State Altoona fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa has been suspended for the next six years while police investigate a hazing scheme that may have been involved with the suicide of student Marquise Braham, according to WTAJ. Officials at Penn State Altoona released their decision regarding the spring 2014 tragedy on Friday.

According to the Altoona Mirror’s original report, freshman Marquise Braham jumped off of the roof of the Marriott Long Island Hotel in Spring 2014. After looking through his phone, his family found photos and texts that connected the fraternity and its actions to Braham’s death. The messages included discussion of drug abuse and the photos alluded to gun violence, both of which were directed at boys pledging the fraternity.

After Friday’s decision was released, Mike Paul, a representative for the family, told WTAJ, “We expect Penn State University, local law enforcement and the State Attorney General’s office to continue investigating hazing at Penn State, and more importantly, law enforcement needs to bring charges against all those involved with the alleged hazing/criminal homicide tied to the death of Marquise Braham.” He urges parents to question the risks that their child is taking in college, especially if he or she is involved in Greek life. The fraternity still has the right to appeal the decision and the university is unable to comment on Friday’s verdict until the appeal is completed.

The decision aligns with National Hazing Prevention Week, which begins today. Paul mentioned this in his commentary and said he hopes that Braham’s unfortunate death will spark meaningful discussion on campuses across the country.

HazingPrevention.Org, an organization whose goal is to empower individuals and provide educational resources against hazing, is the driving force behind National Hazing Prevention Week. Penn State is one of 19 institutions advocating for a safer Greek community through this organization.

About the Author

Alex Calderaro

Alex Calderaro is a junior majoring in Supply Chain Management from Central Jersey. As a first generation Penn Stater, she has found a home here in several places, including her sorority, and, of course, Onward State. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @alexcalderaro.

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