Penn State sanctions 7 students in fraternity death
Penn State has sanctioned seven students with penalties ranging from probation to expulsion in the February 2017 hazing death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, university officials announced Tuesday.
Piazza, a sophomore engineering major from New Jersey, died of injuries he suffered when he fell down a flight of steps at an alcohol-fueled pledge event Feb. 2 at the Beta Theta Pi house. Fraternity members failed to seek help for him for 12 hours.
University spokesmen, who declined to name those sanctioned, said 19 other students implicated in the fatal incident at the now-banned fraternity house took “conduct withdrawals” from the university before the disciplinary process concluded. Six students who participated in student conduct conferences escaped disciplinary charges in the incident.
Although the university disciplinary process has been completed, 14 members of the fraternity face criminal proceedings for charges including reckless endangerment, hazing and alcohol law violations.
Authorities initially charged eight fraternity brothers with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in Piazza's death. Those charges were dismissed at the preliminary hearing. But prosecutors refiled those charges late last month and vowed to pursue them.
Charges against four other fraternity members were dismissed after a preliminary hearing.
Penn State officials, who announced the results of the university's disciplinary proceedings Tuesday, said the school continues to implement new student safety measures aimed at curbing excesses in the Greek life community.
“We remain resolved to focus, as we always do, on student safety and well-being, and will continue to hold accountable any individuals or student organizations that put others in danger,” Penn State President Eric J. Barron said.