Penn State Blackballs University Outdoor Clubs, Cites Alcohol Misuse

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Growing up on the east coast, I always heard about Penn State being some hedonistic party mecca and idyllic college town. Unfortunately, we are all familiar with the recent turmoil going down over in Happy Valley.

After a litany of hazing and alcohol offenses on Greek row, the university came down hard and dropped some pretty serious restrictions on the fraternities. While fraternities will always stay under the microscope, it seems as if Penn State has branched out in these trying times of shutting down student organizations.

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From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Penn State University now says “misuse of alcohol” contributed to its decision to disband three outdoor clubs.

Leaders of the Outing Club, the Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers SCUBA Club all strongly denied allegations of drinking.

Following a two-month review of its 76 sport and three outdoor recreation clubs, the university said earlier this month that the outdoor trips by all three clubs to caves, quarries and forests posed an unacceptably high safety risk and would no longer be allowed.

But in a statement released Monday by PSU spokeswoman Lisa Powers, the university said student behavior on some of the trips was a concern, including the “misuse of alcohol in the context of already risky activities.” It was the first time the university cited alcohol use as a reason for its actions.

Ms. Powers could not immediately cite specific examples.

“I do not have the information at my disposal to tell you which clubs were engaged in dangerous alcohol use. But it was not only one club, and it was not only a singular event,” Ms. Powers said in an email response Tuesday to questions. “. . .but I can tell you that use of alcohol was definitely a factor, combined with high-risk activities.”

To me, it seems simple. As soon as PSU starts putting the hammer down on Greek row, students decided to branch out. While PSU nixed daylongs, students took their daylight drinking habits elsewhere, which just so happened to be caverns and scuba diving expeditions.

Good on these guys for breaking the mold of campus clubs. What used to be a breeding ground of cargo shorts and perpetual virginity has suddenly turned into something I could see myself joining.

[via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Image via Shutterstock

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