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Culture > News

18 Members of a Disbanded Penn State Frat Have Been Charged in Their Brother’s Death

Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza died Feb. 2 after consuming huge amounts of alcohol and falling several times at an event for his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. After a grand jury investigation, 18 members of Beta Theta Pi were charged Friday with crimes ranging “from involuntary manslaughter to furnishing alcohol to minors and evidence tampering,” the Associated Press reports. The fraternity has already been permanently banned.

Fraternity pledge members for Beta Theta Pi had to run through a series of drinking stations during a pledge event which involved drinking large amounts of alcohol quickly. Piazza, 19, fell multiple times over the course of the night, including falling down a long flight of stairs. He fell down the same stairs the next morning, but his fraternity brothers didn’t call for help for almost 12 hours. He died two days later in the hospital.

“I’ve said this before: This didn’t have to happen,” Piazza’s father, Jim Piazza, said at a news conference, according to NBC News. “This is the result of a feeling of entitlement, flagrant disobedience of the law and disregard for moral values that was then exacerbated by egregious acts of self-preservation.”

NBC reports that Penn State cracked down on alcohol use at the university after Piazza’s death, and has already suspended another fraternity for breaking the new rules.

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Emily Gray


Emily Gray is a native Wisconsinite and is currently a junior at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities pursuing a major in Journalism, and minors in both Spanish Studies and the Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. She writes for Her Campus as a news blogger, and when she's not writing, she enjoys finding prime reading spots on campus and delighting in spotting dogs on campus.