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The impacts of a tragic event on the Penn State campus

A visit or enrollment to a college should not result in harm for a student or a parent. A Penn State case where a student died in a fraternity hazing incident continues to have reverberations on the campus.

Reforms made after a settlement could increase the safety of those on the campus.

Changes designed to make college life safer

An article in Penn Live illustrates how the death of a college student in 2017 resulted in changes to the operation of fraternities and sororities. The parents of the deceased student received a settlement of an undisclosed amount of money in the case. Part of the agreement also codified important reforms to how fraternities and sororities operate on the Penn State campus. The reforms that could occur include the following changes:

  • The addition of an anonymous reporting mechanism for students to report dangerous activities
  • The possible addition of security cameras in fraternity housing
  • The availability of funds for changes
  • The banning of the chapter involved in the death

The university reported that reforms are bearing fruit. Officials cited a decrease in alcohol-related crimes and noise violations on campus.

Information needed for student safety

A U.S. News article stressed that students should consider a number of safety factors before enrolling at a college. One factor is how the school supports the health and well-being of students. A second factor is considering the school’s approach to sexual assault, specifically whether it has a comprehensive plan to limit assault. Students should also investigate if programs address alcohol and substance abuse.

When it comes to campus safety, parents and students have many resources to look at, including the college’s annual security report. Colleges that received federal funding must publish the report by October 1 each year.