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Massive Greek Life Reform Announced At Penn State

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On Monday, sweeping changes to Greek life were announced by the Penn State university president. The general theme of the changes seems to be reducing the autonomy of Penn State’s fraternities and sororities, as well as making them more accountable for their conduct. For starters, conduct matters and the general monitoring of PSU Greek life will be handled by the school itself now rather than the school’s IFC. Now in light of last year’s events this seems fairly reasonable, but the other new policies being implemented make it clear what the new tone is that PSU will be taking with Greek life from now on.

Some of the highlights from the new policies include, via PA homepage:

– No more than 10 social events with alcohol per semester.
– No daylong events allowed.
– Only beer and wine may be served. Kegs not permitted.
– Social events, both indoors and outdoors, are limited to the legal capacity of the chapter house.

– The new member process (previously known as ‘pledging’): In the fall if individuals meet the eligibility requirements, the new member process may take place for a maximum of six weeks.

Yeah, it looks like it’s going to be a fairly dry year in Happy Valley. Especially because no social events with alcohol will be allowed to take place until all chapters complete a slew of education and risk centered programs, or November first (whichever comes later). Additionally, PSU plans to beef up their NEAT program, which is essentially one half neighborhood watch/one half anti-booze vigilantes, and they’re planning on bringing the liquor control board in on this, too.

Finally, there are my two favorite pieces of the new policy. Students and parents will now have access to “scorecards” for each chapter that show a number of stats including GPA and disciplinary history. This shit sounds like a really boring version of collectible Greek baseball cards. I’m predicting that this specific policy is going to backfire. Would you rather rush the choir boy fraternity with a 3.8 average, 25 dudes, and no history, or a fraternity with 40 plus guys, a GPA in the meaty part of the bell curve, and a record so long it needs its own server?

And the best part? In order to pay for all of this new monitoring, that required hiring eight new full-time staff members, PSU will now be charging every students who’s a member of an IFC or Panhel organization $90 per semester. It’s a shame that all of these regulations are being implemented due to the gross negligence of a few, but that appears to be the growing trend across the country when it comes to Greek life. Hopefully the next few years lead to sufficient reform for some of the more punitive measures to be lifted. But, until then, it looks like the northeast is down a party school.

[via PA homepage]

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Peter Drinklage

That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. A real-life neanderthal who thinks he can write.

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