Penn State Punishes 7 Students Tied to Timothy Piazza Hazing Death

The punishments range from probation to expulsion, although Penn State officials will not provide names or specifics related to the disciplinary actions.

Penn State Punishes 7 Students Tied to Timothy Piazza Hazing Death

Timothy Piazza died after consuming large amounts of alcohol and sustaining traumatic brain injuries at a pledge party.

On Tuesday, Penn State University announced seven students have received sanctions from the school for their roles in the February hazing death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza.

The punishments range from probation to expulsion for violating the school’s student code of conduct. School officials will not identify the seven students and says it will not provide additional details about the specific disciplinary cases for student privacy reasons, reports ABC 6.

Nineteen other students connected to the hazing withdrew from the school prior to the disciplinary process. However, the school says they all “have a notation placed on their transcripts stating that while there has been no disciplinary conclusion, should the student seek to return to Penn State, he or she must first undergo completion of the University’s disciplinary process.”

Overall, Penn State says 32 students were put through the disciplinary process, according to the Post-Gazette.

In May, prosecutors charged the fraternity and 18 of its members in Piazza’s death. A judge threw out the most serious charges, including involuntary manslaughter, in September. Prosecutors are seeking to reinstate the charges.

Piazza died on February 4 after an initiation party where pledges went from station to station drinking large amounts of alcohol. He sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling down a flight of stairs. A forensic pathologist estimated Piazza’s blood alcohol content to be 0.36 percent at the time of the fall.

After Piazza’s death, school officials shut down the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and said it will be at least five years before the chapter is allowed to regain status as a recognized fraternity.

Also on Tuesday, officials announced they have revoked recognition of its Delta Tau Delta chapter through the fall 2018 semester but did not elaborate on the circumstances.

In October, university recognition was revoked through the spring 2018 semester for Delta Upsilon and through the spring 2019 semester for Lambda Phi, both for alcohol violations.

This past spring, Sigma Alpha Mu was suspended for at least two years for alcohol violations.

About the Author


Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

Hazing is a problem plaguing more than half of the nation’s fraternities and sororities, according to a survey by University of Maine researchers. It also affects other types of groups and activities, such as athletics, marching bands and other types of clubs.Join our Webcast on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific to learn how to address this challenging issue.Register now.

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