New Jersey

Penn State University Suspends Another Fraternity After Underage Student Hospitalized for Drinking Too Much

Penn State has suspended another fraternity after an underage student suspected of drinking there was found unconscious and hospitalized last week.

The 18-year-old man was discovered off-campus Thursday by State College police. The student is recovering, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

The Office of Student Conduct is investigating Delta Tau Delta's possible involvement in the incident, but school officials would not confirm the student's relationship with the fraternity. 

The office is also investigating whether students supplied the underage student with the alcohol that led to his hospitalization.

Delta Tau Delta is on interim suspension during the investigation.

“The potential involvement of Delta Tau Delta is very disturbing news, given all of the recent efforts and education that have gone into emphasizing student safety,” Damon Sims, vice president of student affairs, said in a statement.

“None of us can be tolerant of organizations or individuals who value access to alcohol above student welfare. We’ll see where our investigation of this incident leads.”

All Penn State frats are under a social ban following the death of Timothy Piazza, who fell down the stairs at Beta Theta Pi in February after an alcohol-related hazing ritual.

That fraternity was recently accused of violating local ordinances by renting rooms to alumni during home football weekends. Alumni had reportedly received emailed offers to rent rooms for prices that ranged from $50 to $350.

In August before students returned to campus, Penn State implemented new measures to prevent incidents like these from happening. The university will now oversee Greek life instead of allowing independent groups to monitor fraternities and sororities.

The university is also beefing up its student affairs department, conducting random checks on Greek organizations, banning kegs from on-campus parties and instituting a zero tolerance policy on hazing. 

In 2010, hospital emergency rooms logged approximately 189,000 visits by people under the age of 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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