Parents and Fraternity Reach Agreement Over Hazing Death of Student

The parents of a Penn State student who died during a fraternity hazing have reached an agreement with the fraternity. The agreement requires that requires the fraternity to make several structural changes, including making the fraternity house substance-free.

Details of the Hazing Agreement

The parents and the national organization of Beta Theta Pi reached a monetary settlement Tuesday, although the details were not disclosed.

The fraternity agreed to organization reforms, such as making the fraternity house substance free by August 15 2020, and combatting hazing.

Piazza, 19, a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University from Lebanon, New Jersey, tumbled down two flights of stairs and seriously injured himself in February 2017 while intoxicated at the party. He died two days after the hazing ritual.

Averting the threat of a lawsuit, the legally binding agreement was reached in talks over the past year with the fraternity, says the couple’s attorney.

While the Piazzas have not taken any legal action against Penn State, the agreement with the fraternity does not bar them from doing so, according to the family’s attorney.

Hazing Statistics

The following information was provided by the University of Dayton:

  • Every year, 1.5 million high school students experience hazing. This means 47% of college students have experienced hazing prior to attending a college or university.
  • The majority of college students who are involved in clubs, teams, or organizations will experience hazing.
  • Common types of hazing include:
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Humiliation
    • Isolation
    • Sleep-deprevation
    • Sexual acts
  • In 40% of cases involving hazing of athletes, the athlete reported that the behaviors were known to a coach or advisor.
  • Roughly 80% of hazing deaths involve alcohol.

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