Penn State enacted more than a dozen changes to its oversight and compliance rules for Greek life after 19-year-old Timothy Piazza died at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus.
Six years later, Penn State’s new administration appears to be easing those restrictions.
In an internal memo, the university declares it is “time to recalibrate the relationships involved so the pendulum moves toward chapter self-governance, and away from University monitoring and intervention.”
According to the document, Penn State plans to end the regular monitoring of chapter houses, allow first-semester recruitment, and help Greek organizations that want to reestablish themselves at the university. The memo says that university officials who enforce the 2017 rules will focus on coaching Greek leaders. The university also wants to engage Greek life and student media to discuss “promoting the strengths and benefits of Greek life.”
These changes, which the university has not publicly acknowledged, were allegedly discussed on Nov. 16, 2022, during a private gathering of university leadership, Greek life leaders, and members of the Committee on Academic Affairs, Research and Student Life, which is part of the Board of Trustees.
The memo also states the policies put in place following Piazza’s death were “never intended to be permanent and were clearly presented at the time as necessary, yet temporary, actions.”
Penn State currently recognizes more than 60 Greek-letter organizations, grouped under four governing councils, and lists eight suspended fraternities on its website.