PSU leadership to weigh ‘significant changes’ for Greek system

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa.–Penn State University announced Monday that a special meeting is planned for June 2 to evaluate comprehensive recommendations for “significant change” to the university’s Greek system following the death of student Timothy Piazza.

Penn State president Eric Barron declined to discuss specifics of the meeting, but said the options under consideration “will depart drastically from measures commonly employed at institutions nationwide.”

Since the February death of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza–the university has announced significantly tightened rules for its 82 fraternities and sororities.

“The safety of our students and campus community is of paramount importance, and we are resolved to take decisive action,” said Barron in a statement. “There are no easy solutions, but we will leave no stone unturned as we search for the most effective ways to achieve change.”

Earlier this month Centre County district Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced criminal charges against 18 members of Beta Theta Pi fraternity related to Piazza’s death, which stemmed from a pledge acceptance event.

A grand jury report detailed the events leading up to Piazza’s death after he fell down a flight of stairs on February 2 at the fraternity house. Investigators said an ambulance was not called until nearly 12 hours after he fell. Doctors estimate Piazza had a blood-alcohol content of nearly .40 percent.

The investigation found some frat members tried to cover up what happened.

Penn State permanently banned Beta Theta Pi on March 30, accusing the fraternity of a “persistent pattern” of excessive drinking, drug use and hazing.

In an open letter April 10 to the university’s Greek community, Barron criticized recurrent violations of campus rules.