PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

President Barron Details University Struggles Reforming Greek Life, Issues Plan For National Database In PennLive Op-Ed

Penn State President Eric Barron and university administrators have faced questions about the university’s role in preventing tragedies from hazing and dangerous drinking in the past year since the death of Tim Piazza at the Beta Theta Pi on-campus house.

In an op-ed for PennLive, Barron detailed the university’s new measures to find a solution to combat these issues, while also focusing on the roadblocks that Penn State has faced in making its actions viable.

“Penn State is committed to taking a lead on these issues nationally among universities, but we and other similarly committed universities cannot do it alone,” Barron wrote.

Barron detailed the struggles with Greek organizations, both national bodies and local chapters, that he says have not been cooperative in the university’s initiative.

“While we continue to see progress on many fronts at Penn State, we also face frustrating obstacles put in place by a number of organizations whose priorities are not aligned with our commitment to safety, accountability, and cooperation,” Barron wrote.

The organizations include three fraternities — Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Sigma Phi, and Sigma Alpha Mu — that have had their chapters suspended by Penn State, but are still recognized by their national organizations. Barron says that operating in this way allows the local chapter to work as an “unaffiliated, independent” group that is not subject to university drop-in monitoring.

He also detailed a current legal dispute with fraternity house landlords, many of who are alumni of the organizations whose members live in the house the landlords own. Certain landlords are fighting a municipal ordinance that prohibits groups of unrelated individuals not recognized by the university as a fraternity from living together in the same house. Barron says that if the landlords succeed in this legal battle, chapters can operate on their own, which would derail the ability to reform.

Barron also requested that for the university to be able to successfully reform the Greek system, individuals must be willing to speak up and report wrongdoing.

“We know, real change cannot take place without the willingness of our own community members to come forward with concrete information needed to successfully investigate,” Barron wrote. “The tendency of some to lean toward secrecy, at potential detriment to the common good, must be reconsidered.”

As for the steps the university is taking at reform, Barron stated that it has suspended 14 fraternities and sororities, updated policies regarding Responsible Action Protocol, advocated for changes to current laws, among other works.

The university is also calling on universities to collectively work together and form a national safety database — similar to Penn State’s Greek Score Card, it allows administrators at universities nationwide the ability to view the past history of different Greek organizations, while also providing parents and students a resource to inform them about different fraternities and sororities prior to pledging.

“We all have a role to play. At Penn State, we will not rest in our efforts, and we are committed to leading in the search for solutions to these serious, complex challenges,” Barron wrote.

You can check out the full PennLive op-ed here.

About the Author

Steve Connelly

Steve Connelly is a junior majoring in PR and an editor for Onward State. He is a proud native of the state of New Jersey, and yes, he is literal trash. He is a soccer fan, nap enthusiast, and chicken tender connoisseur. He tried to be a photographer once, but the only good thing that came out of it is a name for his future sports bar, The Blurry Zamboni. You can follow him on Twitter @slc2o (feel free to slide), email him at [email protected], or come say hi to him in his office, the Irving's basement.

Comments

State College Links
More by Steve

Pitt AD Wants Another Four-Game Series With Penn State

Pitt Athletic Director Heather Lyke told reporters Wednesday that there is an offer on the table to restart another four-game series beginning 2026, but the Panthers haven’t received a response.

Penn State Graduate Students Elect Not To Unionize

State College Police Investigating Connected Rape, Sexual Assault Cases

Athletics

Penn State Baseball Routes Lafayette 8-1 In Allentown

The Nittany Lions’ offense exploded for eight runs in a much needed victory over Lafayette.

Report: Penn State Investigating Swimming Coaches After Allegations Of Bullying

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To No. 1 Stony Brook 21-13

Tony Carr Signs With Octagon Basketball Agency

Penn State Baseball, Lion’s Pantry Join Forces To Help Fight Food Insecurity

Student Life

Country Rock Band Old Dominion To Visit BJC October 26

Death. Taxes. The Bryce Jordan Center booking country acts.

UPUA Finishes Spring Semester Strong

The Weird, Wacky, And Wonderful World Of Penn State Craigslist

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Saquon Barkley’s College Career As Told By Five Games

Five games in particular give a clear glimpse of what Saquon Barkley meant to Penn State football.

To Our Favorite NFL Teams: Please Draft Saquon Barkley

Our staffers enjoyed rooting for Saquon Barkley so much that they can’t imagine not doing so in the NFL.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Never Count Yourself Out: Trevor Hayes’ Senior Column

This is the end of a wild journey with too many ups and downs to count.

Send this to a friend