University, National Chapter Release Statements On Alpha Chi Omega Hazing
Penn State and Alpha Chi Omega’s national chapter have each released statements on revoking the Penn State sorority chapter’s charter this week due to hazing. The charter will be revoked through at least the spring 2021 semester.
“In late January 2018, the Office of Student Conduct received a report of misconduct related to new member hazing that allegedly occurred in fall of 2016,” the university said in the release. “The Office of Student Conduct immediately suspended the chapter’s new member process and launched an investigation. The investigation uncovered concerning behaviors that were communicated to the national organization.
“The Office of Student Conduct notified the national office as soon as the interim suspension was issued, and again at the end of the investigation. As a result, the national office also conducted its own investigation and decisively communicated the immediate closure of their chapter at Penn State.”
Penn State administrators have said their commitment to ending hazing requires the buy-in of the organizations’ national chapters, and this demonstrates just that. Alpha Chi Omega also lost recognition this week from Lehigh University through the spring 2020 semester for sponsoring a “road rally scavenger hunt.”
“In response to notification from The Pennsylvania State University’s Office of Student Conduct regarding an interim suspension of our new member education program, Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters immediately commenced an investigation as a result of the university’s initial findings,” Alpha Chi Omega said in a release. “Upon learning of the highly disturbing allegations of hazing, Alpha Chi Omega deployed a team of professional staff members and volunteers to the campus to investigate further. Regrettably, our internal inquiry has led our National Council to determine that the allegations are credible and warrant the immediate closure of our chapter at Penn State.”
Alpha Chi Omega said it will cooperate fully with the university’s investigation and reiterated that behaviors like hazing will not be tolerated by the national organization on any campus at any time.
“Safety is and will remain the top priority. We applaud the national organization for taking the necessary action and partnering with us,” Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said in the release. “It is imperative to note that the university and the national would not have been able to hold individuals or the collective group accountable if a report had not been made.”
Alpha Chi Omega said it plans to work with the university to ensure student needs like housing are met for the rest of the semester.
“Alpha Chi Omega has been a vital member of the Penn State community for many years and looks forward to the opportunity to return to campus in the future,” the organization said in its release.