Every effort will be made to respect the confidentiality of complaints. An hour-long, interactive seminar designed specifically for members of Penn State's fraternity and sorority community addresses attitudes, perceptions and beliefs that allow hazing to take place. In addition to the fraternity brothers, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity itself was also charged. "There's still a long road ahead of us," Piazza's father, Jim Piazza, told ABC News in an interview Tuesday. Before emergency assistance arrived, the brothers wiped blood from his face and attempted to dress him in effort to warm him. [2] The additional defendants are:[8], Ems (age 19) now has additional charges against him—hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor. All four had previously pleaded guilty to hazing-related charges stemming from the February 2017 death of 19-year-old sophomore Timothy Piazza. The report recommended a zero-tolerance policy against those who violate hazing law and the implementation and enforcement of severe restrictions for underage drinking. He was shoved up against a wall and his attempts were ignored.[3]. (MORE: Anti-hazing law named after Penn State fraternity pledge goes into effect in Pennsylvania), (MORE: Parents of Penn State hazing victim lobby for stricter laws against dangerous hazing rituals), fell down a flight of stairs into the basement, (MORE: Parents of Penn State hazing victim reach settlement with Beta Theta Pi fraternity). The bill would also establish "organizational" and "institutional" hazing categories. [2], On August 11, 2017, on the fifth day of the preliminary hearing, it was announced by lead investigators that basement footage from the bid acceptance on February 2, 2017, had in fact been deleted by a defendant already charged in the case. Penn State leadership advocates for new Pennsylvania antihazing legislation Provost joins D.C. officials, stakeholders to back legislative effort on hazing Fraternity and Sorority Life offers distinctive anti-hazing education Penn State Panhellenic’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Posted on July 18, 2020 July 18, 2020 by Kailey Grill Penn-State-Panhellenic-Diversity-and-Inclusion-Initiatives-1-1 Download Burke admitted his role in the hazing of Piazza, which included being present for and actively encouraging a gauntlet of drinking games and an obstacle course involving Piazza and other pledges. As a result of this evidence, the Grand Jury released a scathing 236-page report regarding hazing and excessive alcohol consumption at Penn State fraternities.[13]. He continued to stand up only to repeatedly fall back down. Penn State University reported 31 hazing violations between 2013 and 2018 at the university’s 24 campuses throughout the state — most of which occurred at University Park. Penn State has a robust fraternity and sorority community and is committed to academic achievement, service and philanthropy, leadership, brotherhood and sisterhood, social, and alumni involvement. Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (Republican, Benner Township) and Piazza's parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, introduced the bill on March 23, 2018, at the courthouse in Bellefonte. Becker was also charged with (and acquitted of) obstructing administration of law and charged with (and convicted of) hindering apprehension. Hazing resulting in bodily injury would be a third-degree misdemeanor, which could include fines of up to $2,500 and imprisonment up to one year. The Piazza case resulted in one of the largest hazing prosecutions in US history. Fraternity and Sorority Life at Penn State Behrend supports the social Greek-letter organizations in the areas of: (A) Academic Achievement, (B) Service and Philanthropy, (C) Programming and Campus Involvement, (D) Risk and Financial Management and (E) Brotherhood, Sisterhood and Community Development. It was at this point that he was carried upstairs. "Today was a significant step forward in the long road to justice for the parents of Tim Piazza with the sentencing of three individuals to prison," the Piazza family attorney, Thomas Kline, told ABC News in a statement Tuesday. Tampering with evidence and endangerment charges have also been dismissed against three other students, Joseph Ems,[7] Ryan McCann, and Lucas Rockwell. After several minutes of debating on what the next step should be, the conclusion was made that Piazza's injuries were indeed serious and that he would require medical attention. If you suspect that hazing is happening in a fraternity or sorority at Penn State Altoona, please call the Center for Student and Civic Engagement at 814-949-5064. As of September 2017[update], the fraternity and its eighteen members faced a combined total of more than 850 criminal charges. The Grand Jury received testimony regarding the prior Penn State fraternity hazing related death of Joe Dado and a suicide linked to hazing pressures at the Altoona branch of Penn State. Some time later, Piazza regained consciousness and rolled off the couch. More extreme behaviors including sexual physical and emotional abuse and the killing of small animals were documented. Braxton Becker (age 20), who had the charge of tampering with evidence dropped against him, was charged with it again (and later acquitted) after new footage suggested he deleted the footage that lead to these new charges. Evelyn and Jim Piazza are among the parents who helped initiate a national Anti-Hazing Coalition after their son, Penn State student Timothy Piazza, died following an alcohol-fueled party and hazing ritual known as the "Gauntlet" on Feb. 2, 2017. Timothy John Piazza (September 25, 1997 – February 4, 2017) died as the result of hazing at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pennsylvania. Kurczewski received to three to nine months in jail and one year of probation. The Grand Jury that recommended charges against the brothers also directed Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller to investigate Penn State University and their role and response to hazing. The university said its investigation of the fraternity revealed "disturbing facts," including a persistent pattern of serious alcohol abuse, hazing as well as illicit drug use and sales. "My intent with this legislation is clear – to prevent death or serious injury due to hazing so that families, such as Tim's, never experience tragedies like this ever again. Ryan Burke, age 21, pleaded guilty to four counts of hazing and five counts relating to unlawful acts involving liquor in the deadly injuries Piazza sustained following a night of heavy drinking and hazing. Penn State said in March that its investigation found some fraternity members engaged in sexual harassment and hazing that included a “persistent climate of humiliation” for women. The former frat brothers received sentences of one to nine months in jail and house arrest for charges related to the hazing death of Penn State fraternity pledge Tim Piazza. Penn State has undertaken a new, comprehensive anti-hazing education initiative for students in fraternities and sororities. The testimony revealed that pledges were routinely forced to drink to the extreme and potentially deadly levels, brothers would physically and mentally abuse pledges including physical violence and sleep deprivation. Timothy John Piazza (September 25, 1997[1] – February 4, 2017) died as the result of hazing at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pennsylvania. Piazza tried to stand on his own but fell down each time until he eventually stopped moving. Sala was sentenced to three to 10 months of house arrest plus two years of probation. The University will maintain a report of all violations of this Policy, or of Federal or State laws related to hazing that are reported to the University for the five (5) previous consecutive years. The surgeons attempting to save his life deemed the injuries to likely be nonrecoverable, and Piazza was pronounced dead in the early morning of February 4, 2017. at the university. [5], Prosecutors have filed the following charges in relation to this crime and its cover-up:[6]. [14], On April 18, 2018, the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously passed the bill, which would make hazing in fraternities a third-degree felony in cases of serious injury or death, and could allow universities to seize offending Greek organizations' houses. Luke Visser, Joseph Sala, Joshua Kurczewski and Michael Bonattuci, former members of the Penn State chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, were sentenced on Tuesday by a judge in Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, courthouse sources told ABC News. After their son died, Jim and Evelyn Piazza helped form the Anti-Hazing Coalition with other families who have experienced a similar loss. Definitions [citation needed], "The bill has been carefully crafted because we want this to be a model for changing anti-hazing laws nationwide," Corman said. [2], Piazza was a 19-year-old sophomore engineering student at Pennsylvania State University. [9], That same day, defense attorneys for a number of the defendants started to put blame on Tim Bream, the Penn State Nittany Lions football head athletic trainer and Beta Theta Pi live-in advisor. [11], On July 31, 2018, Burke was sentenced to three months of house arrest for his role in the hazing death of Piazza. Hazing is against National Fraternity or Sorority Headquarters policies. [10], One of the fraternity brothers charged in the death of Piazza pleaded guilty on June 13, 2018, to nine charges, making him the first in the case to enter a guilty plea. Three brothers picked him up and placed him back on the couch. Once he was finally able to maintain balance, he staggered toward the lobby area of the house, but fell again headfirst into an iron railing and landed on a stone floor, likely incurring serious head trauma. He pleaded guilty to nine misdemeanor charges, including four counts of hazing and five counts involving unlawful acts related to alcoholic beverages. Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP, FILE. Visser received two to six months in jail and three years of probation. [8] As of November 14, 2017[update], at least 26 members face charges. ABC News' Henderson Hewes, Jessica Mendoza and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report. [citation needed], The bill would create tiers for hazing. It defines hazing as coercing an individual to participate in any illegal activity in order to join a social group, including the use of drugs and alcohol to inflict physical or emotional harm or the use of other forces such as "whipping, beating ... or extreme embarrassment". The University will update the report biannually on January 1st and August 1st and will publish the report on the Office of Ethics and Compliance website. In October, the Piazzas joined Pennsylvania Gov. [4] On May 5, 2017, following a comprehensive grand jury investigation conducted by Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, eighteen members of the fraternity were charged in connection with Piazza's death: eight were charged with involuntary manslaughter and the rest with other offenses, including hazing. The national coalition, which includes organization that represent dozens of fraternities and sororities, is fighting for new legislation to increase criminal penalties. On the night of February 2, 2017, while undergoing hazing activities for the fraternity, Piazza, on an essentially empty stomach, drank large amounts of alcohol in a short time as part of an obstacle course called "The Gauntlet", which required each pledge to drink from a bottle of vodka, drink a beer, and finally drink from a bag of wine. For example, new member may be forced to take pictures with fraternity men which could make them uncomfortable. Nationally, fraternity or sorority members are the largest and most visible value-based student organizations. The Report called for the legislature to establish "Tim's Law," creating more severe punishments for hazing. § 5352. The incident led to closure of the fraternity's chapter at the university and, as of November 14, 2017[update], at least 26 members of the fraternity face charges, including involuntary manslaughter. Penn’s campus is home to chapters of 2 NAPA organizations. He was a pledge of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity In addition to the house arrest, Burke was sentenced to 27 months of probation and was ordered to pay fines, costs, and restitution.[12]. "[citation needed], The anti-hazing legislation was subsequently submitted for consideration in the full state Senate. This would include the anti-hazing policy and the alcohol policy. The Penn State fraternity and sorority community is one of the largest in North America and consists of a diverse group of men and women. The new charges were filed after the Centre County District Attorney announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had recovered video showing that Piazza had been given at least 18 drinks in an 82-minute span, and that the video had been intentionally deleted. The pledges were threatened if they told anyone of the activities, there would be consequences. On November 14, 2017, ten more members were charged in connection with Piazza's death. Lead prosecutor Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller noted that additional charges would be filed as a result of this finding. The sororities at Penn State don't have their own houses, but rather, occupy floors of dormitories. I heard from a couple people that hazing in sororities at penn state university park is worse than in frats...this totally freaks me out and I was planning on rushing in the fall (I'll be a freshman) but idk if I want to anymore cause I'm scared of what they make pledges do...if you know any details please tell me or have any advice let me know! Penn State has suspended the Alpha Psi chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity through 2024 because of alleged hazing, according to a Penn State news release Friday. It later was revealed that Piazza took prescription anti-depressants, which contributed to his inebriation. He later tried once more to ascend the basement stairs and was missing until several of the fraternity brothers discovered him several hours later behind the bar in the basement, cold and breathing rapidly. After unsuccessful attempts by attorneys to have Bream subpoenaed, the judge in the case ordered that Bream have his own hearing on possible contempt of court and avoiding his subpoena. Witnesses aware of the ongoing hazing and extreme drinking over the years say they notified Penn State authorities but little was done, despite extensive records documenting the hazing, abuse, and other dangerous behavior. Penn State Fraternities, Sororities Put on Notice by School President Penn State has implemented more aggressive measures to combat drinking, hazing and sexual assault in Greek organizations. But this year, sororities at Penn State and on other campuses are being called on by their national conference to do more: Drive critical change in the Greek community, as schools crack down on out-of-control drinking, hazing, and other unruly behavior at fraternities. Penn State defines hazing as Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or that willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any registered student organization. Penn State has released the Greek Chapter Scorecards for spring 2018.. Timothy Piazza, center, with his parents Evelyn Piazza and James Piazza in Flemington, N.J., Oct 31, 2014. National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations ( NALFO ): A national association of 16 Latino fraternities and Latina sororities. Luke Visser, Joseph Sala, Joshua Kurczewski and Michael Bonattuci, former members of the Penn State chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, were sentenced on Tuesday by a judge in Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, courthouse sources told ABC News. [15], Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, List of hazing deaths in the United States, "Recovered video leads to new charges in Penn State fraternity death", "Students charged with manslaughter in Penn State frat death", "Fraternity And Members Face Hundreds Of Charges In Timothy Piazza Hazing Death", "List of 18 defendants, charges in Penn State hazing death", "Former Penn State frat member no longer charged in hazing case: 'No winners here, http://www.philly.com/archive/jeremy_roebuck/penn-state-hazing-death-piazza-case-new-details-20171113.html, "Video of Penn State Beta Theta Pi incident was deleted, officer testifies", "PSU hazing judge orders trainer Bream to court", Penn State ex-frat brother makes first guilty plea in hazing death of 19-year-old pledge, Ex-Penn State Fraternity Member Sentenced to House Arrest in Hazing Death, http://centrecountypa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4839/Notice-11-Report-and-Recommendation?bidId=, Tim Piazza anti-hazing law unanimously approved by Pa. Senate committee, Pennsylvania Senate passes anti-hazing law, Penn State frat pledge's skin had turned gray by morning after fall, prosecutor says, A Penn State student fell down the stairs at a fraternity — and for nearly 12 hours, no one called police, Fraternity, 18 members charged in Penn State student’s death, 18 Penn State Students Charged in Fraternity Death, The Hazing Triangle: Reconceiving the Crime of Fraternity Hazing, North American fraternity and sorority housing, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Death_of_Tim_Piazza&oldid=996689077, February 2017 events in the United States, Articles containing potentially dated statements from November 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from September 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Find a Grave template with ID not in Wikidata, Articles with dead external links from April 2019, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Daniel Casey (age 19): 201 counts, including involuntary manslaughter; charges reduced to reckless endangerment, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Brendan Young (age 21): 200 counts, including involuntary manslaughter; charges reduced to reckless endangerment, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Jonah Neuman (age 19): 79 counts, including involuntary manslaughter; charges reduced to reckless endangerment, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Nick Kubera (age 19): more than 50 counts, including involuntary manslaughter; charges reduced to hazing and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Craig Heimer (age 21): 52 counts, including reckless endangerment; charges reduced to furnishing alcohol to a minor, Lars Kenyon (age 19): 52 counts, including reckless endangerment; charges reduced to furnishing alcohol to a minor, Michael Schiavone (age 21): 52 counts, including reckless endangerment; charges reduced to hazing and furnishing alcohol, Ryan Foster (age 21): one count of tampering with evidence, Edward Gilmartin (age 20): one count of tampering with evidence, Joshua Kurczewski (age 19): eight counts; including involuntary manslaughter, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Ryan Burke (age 21): eight counts; including involuntary manslaughter, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor; pleaded guilty on June 13, 2018, Jonathan Kanzler (age 19): eight counts; including involuntary manslaughter, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Aiden O'Brien: eight counts; including involuntary manslaughter, hazing, and furnishing alcohol to a minor, Brian Gelb: three counts; including hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor, Patrick Jackson: three counts; including hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor, Reggie Goeke: three counts; including hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor, Mike Fernandez: three counts; including hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor, Donald Prior: three counts; including hazing, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and unlawful acts relative to liquor, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 02:47. During many months of testimony from multiple witnesses, including former pledges and others with first-hand experience, the Grand Jury collected evidence about the University's response and handling of hazing across the board. In response to the Report's recommendations, released by District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller on December 15, 2017, on March 27, 2018, "The Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law" was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania State Senate Judiciary Committee. They also were ordered to pay fines and perform community service, sources told ABC News. He got up and tried to reach the front door but fell headfirst into it, knocking himself unconscious again. Tom Wolf at the signing of the Timothy J. Piazza Anti Hazing Law, which requires schools in the state to help prevent hazing, to provide law enforcement tools to address hazing and to hold abusers accountable. Penn’s campus is home to chapters of 2 NALFO organizations, as well as Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. which is a nationally-recognized sorority, but is not a member of NALFO. Finally, the report recommended that Penn State establish a confidential hazing hotline. He is estimated to have had a blood alcohol content of nearly 0.40 on the night of the hazing incident.[3]. Upon arrival, Piazza was rushed into surgery, where he was discovered to have a ruptured spleen and class IV hemorrhagic shock. [citation needed], Lawmakers named the anti-hazing legislation after Timothy Piazza. A fraternity member finally called 911, about 12 hours after the initial fall, by which time Piazza was breathing heavily, had blood on his face and his skin had turned grey, according to the grand jury report. Its Penn State fraternity branch was closed after its president ordered it banned from campus indefinitely. 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