September 4, 2018
Justin Warren, Director of Media Relations
Beta Theta Pi Fraternity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beta Theta Pi and Piazza Family Reach Settlement in Wake of Tragic Penn State Death
OXFORD, OHIO, September 4, 2018 – Beta Theta Pi announced today a settlement with the parents of Timothy J. Piazza, a sophomore at Penn State who died due to alcohol-fueled hazing by Beta’s former local chapter following his induction into the Fraternity on February 2, 2017. The terms and amount of monetary payment will not be disclosed pursuant to the terms of the agreement.
“That the Piazza family has had to endure the loss of their beloved son and brother, Tim, remains one of the greatest disappointments and darkest hours in Beta’s history,” shared S. Wayne Kay, General Secretary and Chairman of the Board. “It is heartbreaking and numbing to know our former members let Tim and his family down in such a tragic way. There will never be enough words to describe the pain they feel, and Betas everywhere join with me in expressing our shared anger and sorrow that this could have happened in our Fraternity.”
Including organizational reforms and monetary measures to support the Piazza family and both their and the Fraternity’s efforts to combat hazing, settlement terms focus on Beta’s historical and future commitment to improving the culture of Greek life across North America.
“From new initiatives to combat hazing and the elimination of substances in all of Beta chapter houses, to enhanced transparency of all chapter statuses, increased education on bystander intervention and the implementation of a Fraternity-wide Good Samaritan Policy, we have never been more focused on reevaluating local chapter cultures and implementing programs and accountability measures that raise the standard of fraternity life wherever Beta Theta Pi exists,” said Executive Director Jeff Rundle.
As evidence of Beta’s commitment to cultural change, on August 4 at the Fraternity’s 179th General Convention, undergraduate and alumni delegates upheld the Fraternity Board of Trustees’ February 2 policy announcement making all Beta Theta Pi properties substance-free by August 15, 2020.
Beta Theta Pi is a college fraternity committed to developing men of principle for a principled life. Founded in 1839 and boasting nearly 210,000 lifetime members, today Beta serves more than 10,000 undergraduate members on 139 campuses across North America, 134,000 living alumni and 1,800 volunteers. The Fraternity’s Foundation and Administrative Office is located near its founding site at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.