Penn State Altoona recognizes two social fraternities, Alpha Phi Delta and Sigma Pi. Both fraternities are committed to the basic principles of membership:
- Academic Achievement
- Service and Philanthropy
- Brotherhood and Sisterhood
- Alumni Involvement
The Center for Student and Civic Engagement supports the active members of these two organizations. The office provides resources to help the student leadership fulfill its mission.
An "unrecognized" fraternity or sorority is one that may have been "closed" by the University or by the corresponding National Organization, but members still choose to try to keep the organization alive. That means that these organizations have no affiliation with or supervision by the College, do not follow the rules that are set for fraternities and sororities, and do not give the College the names of their members. They are loosely organized social clubs that often use the Greek letters of legitimate organizations. Their use of these names is illegal because they are not formally affiliated with national organizations. The dues that are paid are used solely for the social activities of the local group. These groups were at one time recognized by the College and were affiliated with national organizations but are no longer. Members of unrecognized groups sometimes lie to new students about the group’s status. An example is saying that the group’s recognition is suspended but that they will regain their recognition later in the year.
If you have questions or concerns about an organization that is not recognized at Penn State Altoona, please contact Dani Fry, Director of Student and Civic Engagement at 814-949-5064 or [email protected].
The following organizations are not recognized by Penn State Altoona or the Greek Council:
On May 1, 2013, Acacia fraternity lost its recognition with the Greek Council and Penn State Altoona for consistent failure to follow campus conduct policies and state/federal laws. This organization also lost it's recognition from the Acacia Fraternity national office.
Phi Sigma Kappa
In October 2014, Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity was found to be responsible for violations of the Penn State University Code of Conduct related to hazing. The chapter is suspended from October 10, 2014 to October 10, 2020.
Gamma Phi Beta
In January 2018, Penn State's Office of Student Conduct concluded that hazing, consisting of forced servitude, had occured as part of Gamma Phi Beta sorority's new member activities during previous semesters. Following its suspension, the sorority also lost it's recognition from the Gamma Phi Beta national office, resulting in the indefinite closure of the Zeta Pi chapter of Gamma Phi Beta at Penn State Altoona.
The University discourages students from joining a fraternity or sorority that the University does not recognize. Unrecognized fraternities are not held to the University or Council standards that govern the behavior of other chapters. They operate without the oversight, training, and education provided by staff in the Center for Student and Civic Engagement.
Nationally, hazing is often a problem with unrecognized groups. Students who rush unrecognized groups do so at their own risk of academic failure or difficulty and physical and emotional hazing.