Under the provisions of the recently-enacted
Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, each college and university in Pennsylvania is required to publish a
twice-yearly report detailing instances where hazing is alleged to have
occurred on its campus
and its response to such reports. In today's post, the
fraternity hazing lawyers at
The Doan Law Firm present a summary of those reports.
Bucknell University reported that one organization, "Bison Chips," had been suspended for
2 years and that it's Men's Swimming and Diving, Women's Swimming
and Diving, and Men's Lacrosse Teams had received disciplinary sanctions.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University reported 3 incidents, with one sorority (Kappa Phi Lambda) receiving a 3-year suspension
and a hazing complaint against another sorority (Delta Gamma) was currently
under investigation. CMU also reported that a hazing complaint against
the Pi Kappa Alpha was not proved and that no action was taken.
DeSales University reported no incidents.
Duquesne University reported that it had investigated 7 incidents involving 4 fraternities and 2 sororities
that resulted in either probation or suspension for less than one year.
One fraternity (Alpha Tau Omega) had its local chapter's charter suspended
for five years by its national organization
Lehigh University reported a state-leading 51 incidents that were reportable under the Piazza Law.
The 51 incidents involved:
17 fraternities / 27 investigations, as follows:
9 fraternities were the subject of 1 investigation: Chi Phi, Delta Upsilon,
Kappa Alpha Phi, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Sigma Kappa, Phi Upsilon, Psi Upsilon,
Sigma Chi, and Sigma Phi Epsilon. No fraternity in this group was suspended
or placed on probation for longer than 1 academic year.
7 fraternities were investigated twice: Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Chi, Delta
Phi, Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Theta, and Pi Kappa Alpha. With
the exception of Delta Phi (suspended through February 2019), no fraternity
was suspended or placed on probation for more than 1 academic year.
Theta Xi was investigated 4 times. In all 4 investigations, the school
found that there was no collaborating evidence of hazing and no action
7 sororities / 11 investigations: (Alpha Gamma Delta , Alpha Omega,
Alpha Omicron Pi , Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi , Alpha Phi ,
and Lambda Theta Alpha). With the exception of Alpha Chi Omega (suspended
for 2 years for hazing), no sorority was suspended or placed on probation
for longer than 1 year.
3 incidents / 3 investigations involving at least 1 or more fraternities
and/or at least 1 or more sororities that were counted as a single investigation.
No fraternity or sorority group was suspended or placed on probation for
longer than one year.
5 extracurricular groups such as athletic teams or activities sponsored
by the school / 5 investigations: (Marching 97 Band, Men's Rugby,
Ultimate Frisbee Team, Varsity Football, and Varsity Softball). No team
or group was suspended or placed on probation for longer than 1 year.
5 investigations where the identity of a group, fraternity, or sorority
was unknown. No group, fraternity, or sorority in this category was disciplined.
Lycoming College reported 5 incidents involving 5 sororities (Alpha Rho Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau,
Beta Phi Gamma, Gamma Delta Sigma, and Kappa Delta Rho). Of these, Kappa
Delta Rho was permanently suspended and Gamma Sigma Delta was suspended
for 1 year.
Pennsylvania State University
As we noted in a previous post on our website, Penn State released its
report on January 15th of this year. In it, Penn State reported that:
Between January 1, 2013 and the end of Fall Semester 2018, a total of 31
disciplinary sanctions were placed on 19 "recognized student organizations".
Included in those sanctioned organizations were 2 sororities and 2 "extracurricular" groups.
- 6 fraternities were given multi-year suspensions.
Beta Theta Pi, the fraternity whose members were implicated in Piazza's
death, received the harshest penalties:
Beta Theta Pi was ordered to disband and was permanently expelled from campus
5 fraternity members were expelled from Penn State
6 members were suspended, but may apply for re-admission later
2 members were placed on university probation
21 fraternity members were allowed to "voluntarily withdraw"
from Penn State, with the understanding that they would be disciplined
if they returned to campus
There are also several criminal prosecutions underway at this time involving
former Beta Theta Pi members.
University of Pittsburg
University of Pittsburg reported 17 incidents, 3 of which resulted in suspensions of greater than 1 year:
Sigma Chi: Suspended until 2022
Sigma Alpha Rho: Suspended until 2021
Delta Phi: Suspended for 2 years until Spring 2019
Rosemont College reported no incidents.
Villanova University published its
report and, in it, identified a total of eleven cases that it was required to
report under the Piazza Law. Of those eleven:
Six fraternities (Beta Sigma Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Chi, Sigma Phi
Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Nu) were reported to Villanova's
Student Life and/or Public Safety Departments. In each case the school
found "insufficient evidence to support hazing charges" although
"administrative sanctions" were imposed.
Three extracurricular organizations (the Sirens
a cappella singers, Club Ice Hockey, and the Villanova University Band) were reported
to Student Life as possibly having violated the school's anti-hazing
policies. As in the incidents noted above, an investigation by Villanova's
Public Safety Department found "insufficient evidence to support
hazing charge[s]" and each group was given "administrative sanctions"
by Student Life.
Villanova withdrew its recognition from two fraternities (Phi Gamma Delta
and Sigma Alpha Epsilon). However, the wording used in its report suggests
that action was taken only
after the national offices of the respective fraternities had notified the school
that they were revoking their local chapters' national charters "…
for violations of organization bylaws and potential hazing &hellip" and
not as a result of an on-campus investigation.
Impact of the Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law
The Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law is a step forward in that it has toughened
the penalties for individuals, social organizations, and schools convicted
of hazing. However, a review of the information presented on this page
strongly suggests that many colleges and universities have been "reluctant"
to investigate (much less punish) hazing in the past. Only time will tell
if the Piazza Law will have its intended effects.
fraternity hazing lawyers, and staff, at
The Doan Law Firm will continue to monitor the media for reported incidents of hazing and
will provide updates.