Parents of Penn State Hazing Victim Settle with Fraternity

After the Penn State hazing incident in 2017 involving the death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, the victim’s family has settled with the fraternity.

Parents of Penn State Hazing Victim Settle with Fraternity

The Piazzas have been very outspoken about the issues Greek life faces and these reforms will be a step forward for them.

Timothy Piazza’s family reached a settlement on Tuesday with the Beta Theta Pi national organization after the tragic death of their son last year.

While pledging for the fraternity at Penn State, Piazza died participating in a hazing ritual called “the gauntlet.” He fell down a flight of stairs while heavily intoxicated and sustained severe injuries to his head and abdomen. Piazza died two days later.

Jim and Evelyn Piazza, Timothy’s parents, reached a settlement with Beta Theta Pi for an undisclosed amount, according to ABC News

They have also taken their son’s death as an opportunity to reform the way fraternities and college campuses handle hazing and alcohol abuse.

Their settlement includes a “fraternity-conduct Reform Agreement,” which aims to prevent more deaths in the future.

The agreement is made up of 17 points, including the requirement that all 135 Beta Houses be alcohol and substance-free by 2020. The settlement is for the Beta Theta Pi fraternity specifically, reports Penn Live.

“By this settlement, the Piazzas and Beta help to establish a baseline for the new norm of fraternity pledging and fraternity life at universities and colleges in the United States,” said Tom Kline, the family’s lawyer.

Other agreements Beta Theta Pi made in the settlement include:

  • The Piazza family must be involved in the decision of how the now-closed Beta Theta house might be used in the future.
  • The university’s police or public safety department must be notified of any violations that result in “serious bodily injury or death of a member, new member, or third-party guest.”
  • The fraternity must offer their support for harsher penalties when it comes to hazing-related activities

Jeff Rundle, the fraternity’s executive director said about the new reforms, “We have never been more focused on re-evaluating local chapter culture and implementing programs and accountability that raise the standard of fraternity life wherever Beta Theta Pi exists.”

You can read up on the entire Penn State hazing case so far here.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo