Interfraternity councils from all across the state of Pennsylvania have written a joint letter to state legislators in support of the proposed “Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law”. “Tim’s Law” was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman two weeks ago. Seven interfraternity councils are signed on to the letter, including Penn State’s Interfraternity Council.
Tim Piazza passed away on February 4, 2017, after suffering major internal injuries from a fall during pledge night activities at the Beta Theta Pi house at Penn State. Piazza, 19, was a 2015 graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Readington Township. He was a pledge of the fraternity’s Alpha Upsilon Chapter. Piazza was studying engineering while attending the university.
He also played football and track when he was in high school. He was a member of the homecoming court in 2014, and also served as a Red Devil ambassador at Hunterdon Center and on the school’s Teen Prevention Education Program. He did volunteer work to help teach children with special needs how to play sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.
Piazza’s death spurred a cascade of changes in the Penn State greek life community. On March 30, Penn State levied hard sanctions against greek life focused on hazing. These changes altered the rules for how fraternities and sororities can recruit members and host social events with alcohol. Beta Theta Pi was also permanently banned from Penn State.
You can read the full letter below.
Pennsylvania State Legislators,
Recently, Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman introduced Senate Bill 1090 to combat hazing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As student leaders in large fraternity communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we fully support strengthening laws to punish those who haze or condone hazing. We vehemently condemn hazing; it has absolutely no place in the modern fraternity experience.
Key aspects of this bill could make a real, positive difference in our campus community. Tougher penalties for hazers will elevate the seriousness of the crime, and the Safe Harbor provision will remove barriers for and protect those who call for help when someone needs medical assistance, which we hope would increase safety and reporting.
We are confident strong anti-hazing legislation is one key to eradicating the plague of hazing across colleges today. We urge our Representatives to continue working with student, fraternity and education leaders to help us make our communities safer.