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Penn State fraternity and 18 of its members are charged in student's death

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Replies to: Penn State fraternity and 18 of its members are charged in student's death

  • citivascitivas Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    As a Freshman at UCLA in the late '80's I attended a few frat parties one night at the start of the school year. All of frat row was holding interest parties before pledging. After that night, I had zero interest in frats and never attended a function again. I didn't see any hazing -- that probably came later in the process. But the level of drinking, drugs and attitude toward women was revolting. At one frat they had everyone in a big circle around the "live entertainment" which involved what were presumably hired strippers (or possibly prostitutes). The guys were taking turns going into the circle and leaning on the ground with their heads facing upward with folded $10 or $20 bills in their mouths that the "entertainers" would relieve them of by grabbing the money using a body part between their thighs not intended for that purpose. Then the next frat gave small group tours to a few people at a time and showed us the big room in the attic that was just a bunch of mattresses and they said this is where you bring the girls to party when they are drunk. Those were the two most memorable examples but as far as I could tell every party along the row had the same vibe. This is how they marketed themselves to actual students -- not what their literature or chapter presidents said as sound bites about all the benefits of networking and charity work and friendship, which they all claimed as well. But this is what they basically were showing guys was the "real" benefit of joining. I read all the time about frats that do all these positive things, but remain skeptical that those things aren't the side show and the main event is still about wild parties.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 9,847 Senior Member
    edited October 12
    It seems to me that PSU DID penalize this fraternity - it was supposed to be dry, a punishment for previous bad acts. The problem appears to be enforcement. The article that made me so sick explains in detail how "enforcement" worked - a couple of student "monitors" stopped into the party, saw everyone drinking against the rules, and left.

    The whole thing smacks of wink wink nod nod let's appease the anti-Greek people and do whatever we want to do anyway.

    From the Atlantic article
    In an effort to learn more about fraternities, the Piazzas— who had not taken part in Greek life when they were college students—had attended an information session while at a Penn State parents’ weekend in the fall of 2014 for their older son, Mike, who was then a freshman. Evelyn recalled that a university official told the crowd of parents that there was no hazing at the university. An uncomfortable silence followed, until one by one, parents informed the man that their sons were currently being hazed.

    When I tried to confirm this incident with Penn State, the university denied, in a series of baffling phone calls and emails, that it could have happened. “We don’t doubt the Piazzas’ sincerity,” one of the exchanges begins, before heaping doubt on their assertion. I brought up all of this at the Piazzas’ table.

    “We got a letter from another parent who was there,” Jim said. “He remembered it just the way we did.” I now have a copy of that letter, and have spoken with the parent who wrote it; the account verifies everything the Piazzas remember and identifies the man who made the remarks as the university’s then-head of Greek life, Roy Baker.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/11/a-death-at-penn-state/540657/

    That is PSU sticking its head in the sand and going LALALALA.

    And that seems to have led to the current situation where frat brothers (and yes, sports team members too) are more afraid of reporting injuries than of someone dying of them.
    Looking back at the past two decades at Penn State, we see a university grappling with its fraternity problem in ways that pitted concerned administrators against a powerful system, and achieving little change. In 1997, five members of a fraternity showed up at University Health Services with what the physician there strongly suspected were hazing injuries; in the ominous phrase of the director of Health Services, the injuries had been caused by “something that someone else was doing to them.” The president of the university at the time, Graham Spanier (who is currently fighting a jail sentence resulting from his role in the Sandusky scandal), became involved. “We will not tolerate hazing at Penn State,” he said. Yet an investigation into the fraternity resulted in its complete exoneration, most likely because the pledges refused to report what the brothers had done to them, which is typical. The episode, which was covered in the student newspaper, reinforced a message that would have tragic consequences for Tim Piazza: that seeking medical help for an injured pledge invites scrutiny and perhaps serious trouble.
  • pilot2012pilot2012 Registered User Posts: 159 Junior Member
    @bester -- separate thread if you care to post there.
  • bester1bester1 Registered User Posts: 891 Member
    edited October 12
    10 charged in death of drunken student after suspected hazing at LSU fraternity...
    http://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2017/10/10_students_charged_lsu_penn_s.html

    "At Penn State, Timothy Piazza, 19, was trying to join the Beta Theta Pi fraternity when he suffered a series of falls amid an alcohol-fueled party. His new brothers waited nearly 12 hours before calling for help, which doctors said contributed to his death."
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,208 Senior Member
    The LSU guys all but one was charged with hazing. The PSU guys cases are for the most part now hazing. It seems it would be needed to be understood what the one LSU guy did that accounted for the manslaughter charge in order to make any comparisons in the cases and if the manslaughter charge sticks in the LSU case.
  • bester1bester1 Registered User Posts: 891 Member
    10 LSU fraternity brothers were charged in the death of a pledge after a hazing activity called 'bible study'...
    http://www.businessinsider.com/lsu-fraternity-brothers-charged-after-pledge-death-2017-10

    "The news of Gruver's death follows the high-profile death in February of Timothy Piazza, who had participated in a fraternity hazing event at Penn State.

    Eight fraternity brothers at Penn State were charged with involuntary manslaughter. All were cleared of the felony charges against them."
  • bester1bester1 Registered User Posts: 891 Member
    edited October 17
    Penn State's Alpha Chi Rho fraternity charged with furnishing alcohol...........
    http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/crime/article179189886.html

    "Alpha Chi Rho had already been placed on a one-year suspension in July for a hazing incident, according to university documents."
  • bester1bester1 Registered User Posts: 891 Member
    Suspended Penn State Fraternity Faces Underage Drinking Charges After Underage Women Are Hospitalized

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Penn-State-fraternity-Alpha-Chi-Rho-Underage-Drinking-Charges-451229223.html
    "Alpha Chi Rho is not currently a recognized fraternity at Penn State," the university said in a statement. "This group was suspended (7/17/17) for one year until July 2018 – for hazing."

  • jpc763jpc763 Registered User Posts: 302 Member
    This is simply amazing.

    "Alpha Chi Rho is not currently a recognized fraternity at Penn State," the university said in a statement. "This group was suspended (7/17/17) for one year until July 2018 – for hazing."

    In my Fraternity, if the chapter is suspended by the school, national revokes their charter, everyone leaves the house and all activities are stopped. Apparently this is not the case for this chapter as the house still has letters on it and there are still activities going on.

  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,894 Senior Member
    ^What do you do with the lease agreements in that case though? Is this sort of thing written into them?
  • MomfromPA15317MomfromPA15317 Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    @philbegas ^^

    Every situation is different. Some of these houses are leased. Some are owned by the Alumni Board. In the case of Beta, the members were given a few days and had to find alternate housing. In this case, apparently, either their leases don't call for their removal or their Alumni Board or landlord didn't make them leave. There is some urban legend around State College that there is a limit to how many students can live in a property if it is not a group sanctioned by the university. Some say it is a max of 5 students, others have said 7. I find this hard to believe since I have seen rental properties available listing more beds than that with no requirements for affiliation. I am not sure that such a law exists but I have heard it cited. If it does exist, clearly no one is enforcing it because this group is carrying on with business as usual despite being suspended in July.
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