pennstate

Nathaniel C. Sheetz / CC 3.0

Pennsylvania State University fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu has been suspended for two years after violating restrictions on alcohol use.

The violations occurred during Parents Weekend on April 1 and included “excessive drinking, involving hard liquor, with no third-party server; open access to alcohol with no monitoring; and permitting guests other than fraternity members, their parents and family to attend,” according to PennState News.

Penn State imposed a new set of regulations concerning alcohol and Greek life following the death of sophomore Timothy Piazza at a Beta Theta Pi party. The University banned the chapter and alcohol usage indefinitely after discovering that Piazza had fallen down a set of stairs and was then left lying on a couch for 12 hours while critically injured.

In honor of Parents Weekend, the university decided to allow fraternities and sororities to host strictly monitored social events involving alcohol. Nine fraternities and sororities were found to have violated at least one rule during their activities.

“Sigma Alpha Mu knowingly violated every rule that was imposed,” Damon Sims, vice president for student affairs said in a statement. “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.”

In an open letter released on April 10, President Eric Barron characterized the Parents Weekend alcohol exception as a “mistake” and expressed worry that the new regulations may simply force the bad behavior “underground.”

“In the past, Greek life had a powerful positive effect on many of our alumni. The positive is well worth protecting – the value of brotherhood and sisterhood and the great service associated with Greek life,” he said. “But the stories cited above cannot continue. If they do, I predict that we will see many empty houses and then the end of Greek life at Penn State.”

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