Penn State Announces New Safety Initiatives for Greek-Letter Organizations

The below letter was emailed to various Penn State alumni on June 2, 2017 by Penn State University.


Penn State's Board of Trustees today (June 2) supported a comprehensive set of new University initiatives focused on reforming the Greek-letter community. The new measures include an unprecedented transfer of responsibility to the University for disciplinary matters, which may include stringent sanctions for violations. These actions build upon a decade of efforts to address ongoing challenges associated with Greek-letter organizations.

Alcohol misuse among students is a challenge at nearly every college and university, including at Penn State. The problem is particularly vexing among fraternities and sororities across the country because the self-governance model of Greek life has failed to bring an end to excessive drinking, hazing, sexual assault and overly large disruptive gatherings within their organizations. The University and board are committed to implementing solutions that create a fundamental shift for Greek life in an effort to refocus on the positive aspects of these organizations.

"Our University community continues to mourn the death of student Tim Piazza and again sends our deepest sympathies to the Piazza family," said Penn State President Eric Barron. "I am resolved to turn the pain and anguish radiating through our entire community into decisive action and reform, concentrating on the safety and well-being of students at Penn State. These new safety and reform initiatives represent a significant departure from the Greek system's broken self-governance model and indicate steps necessary to address the complex problems."

New measures include:

  • University control of the fraternity and sorority organizational misconduct and adjudication process.
  • Hazing that involves alcohol, physical abuse, or any behavior that puts a student's mental or physical health at risk will result in swift permanent revocation of University recognition for the chapter involved.
  • Transition to deferred recruitment/rush process for fraternities and sororities.
  • Strict social restrictions.
  • Monitoring of social events by University staff members.
  • Relationship statement signed by all fraternity and sorority members that clarifies the respective rights and responsibilities of the University, the chapters and their respective members.
  • Further parent education: availability of report card, messages to reinforce with their students.
  • Capitation fee for support of extra services, spot-checkers/monitors, and educational activities.

There are other measures being discussed and will be instituted over time — all with a focus on prevention, monitoring and enforcement. These measures augment a series of actions taken earlier this year, which are being made permanent.

Barron will appoint a Greek Response Team, including government affairs and community relations, legal, police and student affairs, which will be responsible for directing and overseeing the implementation of these initiatives — reporting directly to the president on progress. This group will coordinate with local law enforcement, campus police and neighborhoods.

"The changes require significant shifts in the relationship among fraternities, sororities and the University," said Barron. "But true change will not happen without the chapters, alumni boards, housing boards, councils, and national organizations commitment and partnership in putting student safety first, and encouraging chapter members to bring safety issues to the forefront."

Recently, the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) also acknowledged that the fraternities' self-governance model is broken and has failed to prevent serious excessive drinking problems on college campuses. But NIC needs to take this further, including addressing the contradictory incentive created by its risk management policies that may deter individuals from calling 911 in emergency situations, according to University leaders.

In addition, the University has begun critical conversations regarding legislative initiatives for the entire student population:

  • Support for a congressional proposal to expand Clery Act reporting to include hazing violations;
  • Continue discussions with state officials on ways to strengthen penalties for hazing, especially hazing that includes alcohol, and on increased statewide educational initiatives on the dangers of hazing and dangerous drinking; and
  • Advocate to expand the current law on Medical Amnesty for Underage Drinking to apply to the individual who requires medical assistance.

"The board supports the important actions taken today by University leadership," said Penn State Board of Trustees Chair Ira Lubert. "These significant changes set a new standard among universities dealing with the challenges of Greek-letter communities. We hope this is a start for our fraternities and sororities to address these serious problems and focus on the more positive contributions these individuals and organizations make here at Penn State and beyond."

Chapter Finishes 1st for Fall 2016 Academics

The chapter has accomplished something great!!!

The chapter finished FIRST out of 48 fraternities and 13TH overall amongst all fraternities and sororities for the 2016 fall semester.

The chapter's GPA for the 2016 fall semester was 3.28. The All Fraternity Average GPA was 3.06 and the All Fraternity/Sorority Average was 3.19. The chapter also beat the Independent Men's Average of 3.14, the Undergraduate Men's GPA of 3.13 and the All University Average GPA of 3.2!!!

Congrats to all the brothers for a great accomplishment!! Keep up the great work!

Spring 2017 Graduates

We would like to congratulate the latest graduates (and newest alum) of Omega chapter. Good luck with your new pursuits and please keep in touch.

  • Brennan Bench - Chemical Engineering
  • John Broderick - Economics
  • Ryan Campbell - Management Information Systems
  • Connor DeKranis - Film
  • Frank Donato - Supply Chain Information Systems
  • Patrick Hilling - Labor Employment Relations
  • Colin Kaye - Engineering Science
  • Timothy Lagnese - Computer Science
  • Derek Miller - Accouting/Finance
  • Oduwa Pat-Osagie - Hospitality Management
  • Max Salon
  • Stephen Sandford - Mechanical Engineering
  • Joseph Saylor - Materials Science
  • Thomas Strnad - Energy Business and Finance
  • Michael Tapsoba - Management Information Systems

Brothers and Chapter Active on Campus and Off - Spring 2017

Theta Chi Bothers have been busy on campus and in town this semester.

Brother Ryan Gattoni and Stephen Sandford were part of an effort to create "Little Lion's Pantries".  Using the Theta Chi basement, Gattoni, Sandford and other students worked to create small food pantries that will be placed around town. They have both been very involved in working with "The Lion's Pantry" which establishes a way for impoverished students to get free food with no questions asked.  Read the article on .

Also outside the chapter house brother Ryan Gattoni was once again elected to the IFC Executive Board and VP of Programming.  In addition, he was also selected to be on the Executive Board of Fresh Start.  

Brother John Broderick

Brother John Broderick is the Lead Program Coordinator for the Sexual Violence Awareness club on campus, Men Against Violence.  He has given multiple speeches this year and was recently selected to speak at the University sponsored Sexual Violence Prevention Gala.  

Brothers Broderick and Gattoni were in charge of "Walk a Mile in her Shoes", an event where male members of the community (mainly Greeks) wear heels and walk down campus in a showing of solidarity to those who have been sexually assaulted.

Brothers John Broderick and Ryan Gattoni leading the "Walk a Mile in her Shoes" event with many Theta Chi brothers behind them.

Brother Kevin Diguiseppe was selected to be a Greek Week Programming Captain. Brother Neel Parikh was recently chosen to be the Lead Analyst of Exotic Commodities for the Penn State Asset Management Group. Also, Bryant Narvaez was elected to be the Treasurer for the ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America).

And finally, the GI Theta Chi event was very successful and built on last year's event.  The chapter raised approximately $1000 for the USO through the event.  We will have more info and photos from GI Theta Chi soon.

GI Theta Chi 2017

What GI Theta Chi?

GI Theta Chi is a yearly fundraising effort to support the USO. This year we are organizing a three- day event consisting of Partial Proceeds Night, Letter Writing Night, and the main event featuring Water Balloon Battle Ship and a dollar hot dog cookout. EVERYONE can participate in the first two activities and the main event. In addition to participating in these activities, you and four friends can register a squad ($25) and participate in the water balloon battleship to compete with other squads for points. The squad with the most points will win McClanahan’s Gift Cards. 

Why the USO?

For 75 years, the USO has been the nation’s leading organization to serve the men and women in the U.S. military, and their families, throughout their time in uniform. From the moment they join, through their assignments and deployments, and as they transition back to their communities, the USO is always by their side. 

Click here to Download Brochure

Click here to Download Brochure

The Events

Partial Proceeds Night

DATE: March 2, 2017

MISSION: Have a meal at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries from 5-8 pm

OBJECTIVE: Earn points for your squad by dining at the aforementioned date


  • 3 squad members: 5 points
  • 4 squad members: 10 points
  • 5 squad members: 20 points

REQUIRED: Take picture of squad AND save receipt 

Letter Writing Night

DATE: April 6, 2017

MISSION: Write a short, heart-felt letter to active military members - either domestic or overseas, injured veterans, or military families. OBJECTIVE: Earn points for your squad by writing a letter.


  • One letter: 2 points
  • Max of 20 points per squad 

The Main Event

Water Balloon Battle Ship 

DATE: April 9, 2017

MISSION: Compete in a tournament style water balloon game to earn points for your squad.

OBJECTIVE: During a match two squads will face each other and will be separated by a barrier. Each member will stand in place on their respective sides and cannot move. Each squad will be given a chance to launch water balloons over the barrier at the opposing squad. A squad is awarded one point with every hit. After five rounds the winner is determined by which squad has the most points in the match.


  • 1st place: 60 points
  • 2nd place: 30 points
  • 3rd place: 10 points 

As stated above, ALL are welcome to attend this event at Theta Chi Fraternity for music, games, $1 Hot Dogs, and Free Insomnia Cookies. Support the teams in Water Balloon Battleship and help us raise money to support the USO!!! 

If you need any additional information please let us know.

Steven Hatten
Events Coordinator

Chapter Eternal - Suppan '41 and Meassick '57

We have been honored to call these men our Brothers. The condolences of Theta Chi’s extended worldwide family are offered to the family and friends of our deceased brothers.

It is with great sadness we report the passing of:

  • Henry C. Suppan '41 - Nov. 11, 2016
  • Charles V. Meassick '57 - Jan. 6, 2016

Henry C. Suppan '41 - LaVie Portriat

Henry C. Suppan '41 - LaVie Portriat

Henry C. Suppan '41, 97, formerly of Lincoln Park, passed away on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, at his Spring Ridge residence.

His wife of 68 years, Lucia (Hefele) Suppan, predeceased him in August of 2015. He was also predeceased by his parents and two sisters. His sister, Joanne Gallis, survives him.

He is survived by his four daughters, Elise Overcash (Steve), Jane Lucia Suppan, Barbara Murphy (Jim), Lori Meyer (Paul), 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Henry was a 1937 graduate of Catasauqua High School and a 1941 graduate of Penn State University. He was an accomplished trombone player in dance bands, the Penn State Blue Band, and in later years with the Wyomissing Band and Reading Philharmonic Orchestra.

Henry was a proud U.S. Navy veteran of WWII. He recalled fondly the years as an aviator with his Ferry Squadron. He flew U.S. manufactured planes to ports on the East and West coasts, thereby aiding the war effort across both oceans.

Henry was a man of his word. His honesty and integrity was recognized by all who knew him. He worked for Whitmoyer Laboratories from 1948-1970 and for Wertz Hoffman and Parks Relators from 1970 until his retirement in 1993.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius Loyola R.C. Church, 2810 St. Albans Dr., Whitfield, PA 19608. A viewing will be held before Mass from 9:30-11 a.m. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Catasauqua PA, on Friday, November 18, 2016. Online condolences may be recorded at

Charles V. Meassick '57 - 53 Composite

Charles V. Meassick '57 - 53 Composite

Charles V. "Chuck" Meassick '57 Passed away peacefully on January 6, 2016. Born in Pittsburgh, PA. on April 2, 1932, resided in Apalachin, NY for 47 years. Beloved husband of 63 years to Margaret R. Meassick "Marge" who recently pre-deceased him. Loving Father of Deborah (Larry) Danielson, Charles (Kelly) Meassick, and Mark Meassick; cherished grandfather of 16; adoring great-grandfather of five; devoted brother to Mary Ann (Wayne) Clark; Betsy Patton; Pat Goldbach and Jean Voelker. Chuck was a very active parishioner of St. Margaret Mary's Church and a supportive member in the Lions Club. Funeral arrangements by BEINHAUERS. Friends welcome at 2828 Washington Rd., McMurray, PA 724-941-3211 on Monday 11am til 12pm, immediately followed by blessing service and full military honors at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Diabetes Association P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA. 22312 or Apalachin Lions Foundation P.O. Box 317, Apalachin, NY. 13732. 

Daily Collegian Story - The Story of Leah Fait's Battle with Cancer and her relationship with Theta Chi and Tapestry Dance Company

As appeared in the Feb. 22, 2017 edition of The Daily Collegian

Leah Fait and The Nittany Lion at THON 2017

Leah Fait and The Nittany Lion at THON 2017

Nearly nothing gets Leah Fait excited like Penn State’s THON. The little 5-year-old even got bad marks on her “behavior card” in her kindergarten classroom last Friday because she couldn’t pay attention.

THON 2017: “Igniting Hope Within” was Leah’s third successful dance marathon, and she got to share it with her two organizations: Tapestry Dance Company and greek organization, Theta Chi.

Tapestry’s President, Emily Newton, said they are a student-run organization, delivering different styles of tap, self-choreographed by its members, and they have been participating in THON far before she joined.

“We were paired with [Leah’s family] my sophomore year,” Newton (senior-kinesiology) said. “We actually got paired with her about three weeks before THON 2015.”

In June of 2014, when Leah was about 3-years-old, she was diagnosed with leukemia. In no time she was beginning chemotherapy treatment, essentially living in Hershey Medical Center, Newton said.

“Nurses said she was always the brightest child, just in emotion and energy,” Newton said. “Even if she like just had chemo she would stand by the elevator, and she would greet people who came onto the floor — her favorite thing to do.”

Currently living in Chambersburg Pennsylvania, Leah is taken care of primarily by her grandparents, Diane and Rick Fait.

Newton said the pair told her that, even in the hospital, Leah always had “bundles of energy” and was almost never lethargic. Apparently that is one thing that has never changed.

Leading up to her first THON, in 2015, Leah had just finished her treatment.

“She had just gotten off of in-patient treatment nearly two months before THON,” Newton said. “She was bright and bubbly as ever. She was grabbing water guns and bubbles, and she didn’t have to wear a mask or anything.”

Megan Burns, current secretary for her THON organization, said she got to meet Leah for the first time in the final hour of the 2015 dance marathon. Burns (senior-mechanical engineering) was Tapestry’s Family Relations Chair at the time.

“You know, it’s that last hour so you have to push through, but she made that last hour go by so fast,” Burn) said. “She really kept us going. I’ll never forget that. She was a ball of energy and everyone was so excited to see her.”

After her first THON, having already completed treatment, Leah had monthly visits to Hershey — simple check-ups to make sure her blood work came back okay. Newton said she just got approved to begin going every three months instead.

“We’ve actually met up with her a few times when she goes to Hershey,” Newton said. “She’s getting in the clear. As of a few months ago, she has been two years in remission, which is really big.”

Fast-forward to THON 2017, and Burns actually had the opportunity to represent her organization and dance for the entire 46 hours.

“I can’t even begin to describe it,” she said. “It flew by honestly, can’t believe it’s already over.”

Additionally, their organizations raised a combined $35,601.84 for Four Diamonds.

Ashley Passarello, one of Tapestry’s current family relations chairs, said THON 2017 was amazing, and she was extremely proud of her organization.

“We’re really happy about [our total],” Passarello (sophomore-criminology) said. “It was a little more than last year’s.”

Newton said Leah had as much energy as ever in this year’s dance marathon, getting to do even more activities than in years before, and her grandparents had a better idea of what was going on.

“They are just so thankful that Leah has so many people around her that want to help her and want to play with her,” Newton said. “They are really touched by all of the volunteers and everything they do.

Marissa Glovier, the organization’s other family relation’s chair, said Leah was really just a ball of energy.

“I was like chasing after her,” Glovier (sophomore-elementary education) said. “It was really fun.”

After the weekend came to a close, Leah was featured on the front page of The Daily Collegian’s THON issue on Monday, and the Tapestry members noticed.

“I freaked out,” Newton said. “I took Snapchats and sent them to everyone. I sent it to my parents, sent it to my boyfriend who is an alumnus, sent it in all of our group chats — everyone was just freaking out about it. That’s our child.”

Passarello said talk of the picture, as well as the shot itself, quickly filled the organization’s GroupMe, and everyone was over-the-moon.

“That was awesome,” Burns said. “I was just going to class, and I picked it up. I noticed it was Leah and I just started freaking out. ”

Glovier said many of the girls brag about Leah like she’s their own daughter, and when she saw the cover she was astounded.

Newton said the photo soon made its way to Facebook, and someone in her organization tagged Diane.

“She’s your typical Facebook grandma,” Newton said. “Diane loves all the pictures and she actually made it her profile picture.”

Coming out right after THON weekend, Newton said it made her extremely excited.

Looking into the future, Newton and many other Tapestry members know that with a disease like cancer life needs to be taken day-by-day, but also they remain very optimistic.

“Half of the battle is just having a positive attitude,” Newton said. “You see so many of these kids — they’re some of the most positive people you’ll ever meet. I would like to hope that her prognosis is going to be great.”

Passarello said it’s hard to even imagine her even being sick because she cannot imagine her not having the energy she does now.

Burns said as well that Leah has been doing very well health-wise, and she just hopes Leah will stay on the same track.

“I think she has a very bright future in front of her,” Burns said. “She has so much potential to do whatever she wants.”

Leah also just began kindergarten this year, and that is something Newton called an important “milestone” for her to pass.

“You know, every time we see her, her hair is a little bit longer, she has a bit more energy,” Newton said. “I’m very positive toward her journey.”

2017 THON - Lend Some Helping "Support"


As THON 2017 approaches on February 17th, we are asking for any donation, big or small, to continue the fight against pediatric cancer.  This year Theta Chi will have 2 dancers, Frank Donato and Brennan Bench, who will be dancing along side 2 girls from our partner organization, Tapestry.  In addition to this, we have multiple brothers who will be attempting to dance all 46 in the stands in support of not only Brennan and Frank but for every family involved in THON.   Brothers Ryan Campbell, Jordan Reed, Thomas Strnad, and Joey Saylor have been involved in committees throughout the year and will continue these duties during the weekend.

This year I have had the privilege to be a part of THON's mission to help those fighting pediatric cancer as a Family Relations Captain.  I have first hand seen the struggles that not only children currently fighting the disease but also those who have beat it are facing.  Numerous times this year I have made the drive to Hershey Medical Center for events and I cannot even imagine doing this week in and week out trying to make your child better.  I have seen children who are forced to constantly poison their own bodies in order to kill this horrible disease.  I have seen children relapse, go back into treatment, lose hair and once again become a shadow of their former self.    No child should ever have to go through this.



However, I have also seen the hope, strength, and community that THON provides.  It is difficult to put into words how much THON means to these families.  Not only the weekend in the middle of February but all of the events throughout the year.  They provide an escape  from all other aspects of life and allow them to simply have fun.  Being involved in THON allows Penn State students to not only help these children beat cancer but also to be mentors in the subsequent years.  We can teach them a lot and they teach us as well.  

Please consider donating to this amazing cause and help us in our final push towards THON 2017.  Theta Chi, THON, and the Four Diamonds truly appreciate every cent donated.  Alumni like you make all the difference.

For The Kids, 

Stephen Sandford