Penn State Revokes Fraternity’s Recognition In Wake Of Student’s Death

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBSNewYork) — Penn State has revoked recognition of a fraternity following the death of a 19-year-old student from New Jersey.

Timothy Piazza, of Lebanon, fell down some steps while at a party at the Beta Theta Pi frat house on campus on Feb. 2. An ambulance responded to the house the next morning, when Piazza was found unconscious at the bottom of the basement steps about 11 hours after he fell.

Piazza died from his injuries two days later.

The fraternity was initially suspended, but the school announced Friday that it has decided to immediately withdraw recognition of Beta Theta Pi.

“We cannot suitably convey the heartbreak we feel for the family and friends who are grieving the loss of Tim Piazza,” said Damon Sims, Penn State’s vice president for Student Affairs. “The information available to us about the actions that led to Tim’s death is deeply disturbing, and no sanction or restriction the University can levy is equal to the gravity of his death or the circumstances which we believe led to it.”

The revocation will last up to five years and could be permanent depending on the completion of the criminal and university investigations into Piazza’s death, the school said.

Piazza attended Hunterdon Central Regional High School, and was an AP student who played football, ran track and was a peer mentor. He was a sophomore who was studying engineering at Penn State and pledging the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

In addition to banning all alcohol-related social activities for the remainder of the spring semester, the school is implementing long-term changes at fraternities and sororities to “reduce any likelihood of underage and excessive drinking, hazing, sexual assault, and overly large and disruptive gatherings.”

The organizations will be required to adhere to all occupancy limits for social events. Hard liquor will be banned at future gathering and certified bartenders will be required at all events serving alcohol.

Those organizations that violate the rules will face probation and immediate revocation.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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