Penn State suspends Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity for 2 years
UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State University has suspended Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity's recognition on campus for at least two years after multiple alcohol use violations during its parents’ weekend on April 1, officials announced Thursday.
Sigma Alpha Mu’s violations include 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.
“Sigma Alpha Mu knowingly violated every rule that was imposed,” Damon Sims, Penn State vice president for student affairs, said in a statement. “This behavior is not consistent with our universityvalues 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.”
Sims and others in Penn State student affairs officials met with Sigma Alpha Mu leadership and its adviser to discuss the issues. The fraternity president acknowledged the violations of the new rules and expectations. A review of the circumstances also involved a conversation with the fraternity’s national leadership.
“In a gesture of trust, we believed that parents weekend would be the appropriate way to pilot new regulations and gain cooperation from the Greek-letter community,” Sims said. “Unfortunately, this fraternity egregiously took advantage of its trial opportunity, despite our clear expectations and the well-publicized consequences for violations.
“We remain hopeful that our Greek-letter community, including undergraduate members, their parents and alumni, understand the university’s wholehearted commitment to these new expectations, and our determination to help our fraternities and sororities avoid outcomes that threaten their continued success. Only by earnestly working together will we achieve the results the entire Penn State community should expect.”
Michael Cavallaro, vice president for communications for the Penn State Interfraternity Council, issued a statement on the fraternity's behalf Thursday afternoon.
"Sigma Alpha Mu’s suspension was a university decision," the statement said. "The Interfraternity Council is supportive of accountability when a fraternity does not meet standards and/or expectations. It is our hope that due process was followed as this decision was made."