Interfraternity CEO calls Penn State hazing death an "unacceptable reflection on humanity"

Interfraternity CEO on frat hazing

Colleges and universities have struggled to end hazing traditions in Greek life culture.

This year alone, Loyola University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona have suspended fraternities after hazing allegations.

Penn State cracked down on Greek organizations after sophomore Timothy Piazza died after a drunken fall following a hazing ritual involving forced drinking at fraternity Beta Theta Pi.

Judson Horras is president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, which represents 69 men's fraternities, including Beta Theta Pi.

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Horras joined "CBS This Morning" Wednesday to discuss the Penn State incident, the difficulties of policing binge drinking at colleges and the call by some for an end to fraternities on campus.

Criminal charges say Beta Theta Pi brothers left Piazza injured on the floor for more than 12 hours before calling 911. Penn State has banned the chapter.

Horras called the Penn State incident "an unacceptable reflection on humanity."

An important issue to address, Horras said, is how to find a balance between holding students accountable and making them feel safe enough to call for help when they need it.

In a statement, Penn State said, "Across the country, fraternity chapters, alumni boards and national fraternity organizations, through the self-governance model have failed to bring an end to excessive drinking, hazing, sexual assault."

Charges against the Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity members include involuntary manslaughter and hazing.

"We encourage criminal charges," Horras said. "We think the state laws on hazing need to and should be enforced fully to combat hazing."

However, Horras acknowledges that holding students accountable will not be enough to fix the problem.

"The challenge we've got is 1,800 students on college campuses died from alcohol poisoning last year. This is bigger than just fraternities," Horras said.

He says there needs to be a change in culture on campuses and that fraternities need to lead that change.

More than 60 deaths from 2005 to 2013 are related to hazing and heavy drinking.

"You have the drinking law and then you have the reality of the students, and we are caught in a very challenging position to ensure safety, have honest dialogue about where they are, enforce policies," Horras said. "But when it comes down to it, what works best and where we find success is when administrations and national organizations from the grasstops work with the student culture, which is at the grassroots."