In light of a student’s fatality, and increasing accusations of hazing and sexual assault, Penn State has put an end to the provision of alcohol at fraternity and sorority parties. Penn State and its Interfraternity Council came to such an agreement one week following the death of a student on campus.
On the night of Thursday, February 2nd, at 11:00 p.m., 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, of Readington Township, in Hunterdon County, fell down the stairs leading to a basement at a fraternity house. Although he was taken upstairs almost right away, no one phoned an ambulance until after 10:00 a.m. on Friday. It was reported that someone called police at 10:49 a.m. He succumbed to his injuries at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey on Saturday morning.
The council and Vice President for Student Affairs, Damon Sims, made the decision to discontinue such functions until they reach an agreement as to what changes must be implemented. In order to enforce the new regulations, both fraternities and sororities may be inspected without warning. Social functions include parties for fraternities and sororities, even if they are held in a place other than the chapter’s house.
The Vice President of Student Affairs told the chapter presidents that they should work with the University to obtain more favorable results. He also talked with them about the necessity for significant change within the organization. Meanwhile, police and Centre County District Attorney are conducting an investigation into the incident, and might file criminal charges against the fraternity.
The student’s death was determined to be an accident, but criminal charges may be filed if police uncover evidence of reckless endangerment. There is a basis for a civil suit because almost 12 hours elapsed before someone called an ambulance.
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