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. At around 3:30 A.M on February 3, 2017, Piazza tried to get up, but once he reached a standing position, fell backward. In addition to the fraternity brothers, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity itself was also charged. In March 2017, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity was permanently banned from Penn State. 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. Pennsylvania State Law on Hazing [P.S.] It was at this point that he was carried upstairs. Penn State has undertaken a new, comprehensive anti-hazing education initiative for students in fraternities and sororities. 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. 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. In addition to the house arrest, Burke was sentenced to 27 months of probation and was ordered to pay fines, costs, and restitution.[12]. 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. [citation needed], The law is sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader and 34th Senatorial District Rep. Jake Corman, who worked with Tim Piazza's family to create the bill. It later was revealed that Piazza took prescription anti-depressants, which contributed to his inebriation. "There's still a lot that needs to occur in regards to Tim's killing," Jim Piazza told ABC News on Tuesday. The report recommended a zero-tolerance policy against those who violate hazing law and the implementation and enforcement of severe restrictions for underage drinking. The Report recommended strengthening laws against furnishing alcohol to minors and that Penn State create a "pledge's bill of rights" that outlines acceptable and unacceptable behavior during the pledge process. National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations ( NALFO ): A national association of 16 Latino fraternities and Latina sororities. 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. The Report called for the legislature to establish "Tim's Law," creating more severe punishments for hazing. [8] As of November 14, 2017[update], at least 26 members face charges. Penn State football coach James Franklin allegedly forced defensive back Isaiah Humphries out of the program after he reported violent, sexual hazing … [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. Beta Theta Pi member Luke Visser leaves the Centre County courthouse in this July 11, 2017 file photo in Bellefonte, Pa. Phoebe Sheehan/Centre Daily Times via AP, FILE. 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. 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. [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. Fraternity brothers carried Piazza back upstairs and placed him on a couch, where they poured water on his face and slapped him in an attempt to wake him up, according to a grand jury report that cited evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records. 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. [5], Prosecutors have filed the following charges in relation to this crime and its cover-up:[6]. The national coalition, which includes organization that represent dozens of fraternities and sororities, is fighting for new legislation to increase criminal penalties. [11], On July 31, 2018, Burke was sentenced to three months of house arrest for his role in the hazing death of Piazza. 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 It's the first time the judge has handed down jail sentences in the case, which was prosecuted by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. Three brothers picked him up and placed him back on the couch. Definitions § 5352. He continued to stand up only to repeatedly fall back down. Its Penn State fraternity branch was closed after its president ordered it banned from campus indefinitely. Scavenger hunts can often start out harmless, but turn into hazing. Hazing is against National Fraternity or Sorority Headquarters policies. Soon emergency services arrived and Piazza was brought to Mount Nittany Medical Center, but was quickly transported to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center because of the severity of his injuries. Hazing resulting in serious bodily injury or death would be a third-degree felony, which could include fines of up to $15,000 and imprisonment up to seven years. Every effort will be made to respect the confidentiality of complaints. [citation needed], Lawmakers named the anti-hazing legislation after Timothy Piazza. Beta Theta Pi member Joseph Sala leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., after another day of prelims in this July 10, 2017 file photo. Social fraternities and sororities at Penn State consists of a diverse group of men and women who help create smaller communities within the large university environment. ABC News' Henderson Hewes, Jessica Mendoza and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report. The bill would also establish "organizational" and "institutional" hazing categories. Other hazing would be a summary offense. "There's still a long road ahead of us," Piazza's father, Jim Piazza, told ABC News in an interview Tuesday. 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. 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. 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. Burke was accused of giving Piazza a bottle of vodka at the Beta Theta Pi party. 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