President Eric Barron addresses media after introduction of new antihazing law

President Eric Barron speaks with the media to show his support for the new Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing legislation during the second Penn State Beta Theta Pi preliminary hearing at the Centre County Courthouse on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Penn State co-sponsored a national conference yesterday and today that explored greek life, with an emphasis on identifying solutions to hazing and binge drinking.

The conference, “Fraternities and Sororities: What Next,” brought together about 50 academic leaders from 31 institutions across the country at the Big Ten Conference headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois from April 23 and 24, according a press release.

Ideas discussed during the conference included the implementation of a national scorecard, uniform consequences and consistent data gathering.

Penn State introduced its version of a greek life scorecard on Oct. 13.

Other solutions discussed, included deferred recruitment, the connection between pledging and hazing and the values of fraternity and sorority organizations.

“Continued tragic deaths of students across the nation due to dangerous behaviors dramatically underscore that a culture shift in fraternities and sororities is needed,” President Barron said in the release.

During the conference, Barron served as a panelist alongside Florida State University President John Thrasher and Louisiana State University President King Alexander.

As stated in the release, all three university leaders experienced a student death as a result of fraternity hazing.

“Are the issues plaguing fraternities and sororities solvable?” Barron asked. “We do not yet know, but we must for the sake of our students and the overall safety of our community continue to explore these complex questions.”

At Penn State, Timothy Piazza died Feb. 4 following injuries sustained falling down the stairs at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house after a night of alcohol-fueled hazing events.

The next round of preliminary hearings for the former Beta Theta Pi brothers in relation to the night's events is scheduled for May 2.

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