Jim and Evelyn Piazza, the parents of Tim Piazza, gave an anti-hazing presentation to fraternity and sorority members at Penn State on Wednesday. They said their goal is to end the culture of hazing.
The Piazzas named their presentation, “Love, Mom & Dad.” They asked their audience in HUB Robeson Center's Freeman auditorium to imagine the painful loss of a child, as they recounted the details of how Tim was hazed and fatally injured in 2017.
“It’s amazing,” Jim Piazza said. “We sat in this very auditorium four years ago at parents’ weekend and on a Greek life presentation, where we had heard repeatedly that there’s no hazing at Penn State.”
Evelyn Piazza said she wanted the opportunity to speak to students and to reach them.
“It’s something that used to keep me awake at night when I couldn’t fall asleep,” she said. “This is what I had running through my head.”
In the presentation, the Piazzas talked about the physical and psychological consequences to hazing, and ways for students to educate themselves about hazing laws as well as medical amnesty policies.
About 250 members of fraternities and sororities, including student leaders and their advisors, attended the event. After the presentation, they held group discussions and had a Q&A with the Piazzas without media, to allow “honest and open discussions.”
In a release, the university said that students “specifically committed to checking in on others, holding each other accountable, stepping up if something isn’t right, and leading by example.”
The Piazzas urged Greek life students to also support anti-hazing laws that would toughen penalties. In Pennsylvania, an anti-hazing bill named after Tim Piazza was introduced by State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman in March. It passed the senate unanimously but has not been brought up for a vote in the House’s Judiciary Committee.
The Piazzas said they hope the bill will pass in the fall.
Since the death of Tim, Jim and Evelyn Piazza have actively advocated against hazing. They will continue to do presentations in the coming months.