Pennsylvania State University Cracks Down Fraternities And SororitiesBy Mark Spencer, UniversityHerald Reporter
Pennsylvania State University bans Beta Theta Pi fraternity and cracks down on Greek life campuswide due to the death of 19-year old Timothy Piazza last February. Piazza fell down the stairs and sustained injuries that led to his death.
The Washington Post reported, that investigation later shows that Piazza fell down the stairs after drinking at a Beta Theta Pi fraternity party. Allegedly, no one called for help, where police found Piazza unconscious, brought him to a hospital where he died the next morning.
Further investigations showed that there is a persistent pattern of alcohol abuse, hazing and the use and sale of illicit drugs at the fraternity. Accordingly, Penn State's recognition of the fraternity has been permanently revoked, officials have also banned from it ever returning as a chapter. In addition, the university will also begin enforcing new restrictions affecting all fraternities and sororities that will take effect immediately
"Enough is enough," said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs in a press conference. In a statement released by the University, Penn State fraternities and sororities are four times more likely to be heavy drinkers than the general population; sorority women are 50 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted; and men are 62 percent more likely to commit a sexual assault than non-fraternity men, according to Philadelphia Magazine.
Justin Warren, a spokesman for the national chapter of Beta Theta Pi said while the group is standing by the decision of closing down its Penn State chapter, they say they are disappointed by the university's announcement. Accordingly, Beta Theta Pi's 130 years of positive contributions to the campus, being named Chapter of the year for twice since 2010.
However, the tragic incident also brought to light that the chapter's culture has strayed from the organization's founding mission. Accordingly, the national chapter believes the recent actions of recent Penn State students do not demonstrate the high standards Beta Theta Pi has been known for in State college and beyond.