Penn State

Iraqi citizen Basim Razzo and Penn State professor Sam Richards.
Min Xian / WPSU

In a TED Talk at Penn State in 2010, sociology professor Sam Richards put forward a challenge of empathy. He showed the audience a picture of two captured Iraqi insurgents and asked them to put themselves in these men’s shoes – to think about their lives, their families and why they were fighting.

Not long after, on the other side of the world in Iraq, Basim Razzo saw that video and got in touch with Dr. Richards. Razzo has since been a frequent speaker at Richards’ classes – via Skype – and now Richards’ students have raised the money to bring Razzo to Penn State.   

Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has dropped all assault charges and some involuntary manslaughter charges in the hazing case in relation to the death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.
Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dismissed the more severe charges against a second group of defendants in relation to the hazing death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza. With the ruling issued, a set of 25 former Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers will head to trial. 

Among this group of 12 defendants, five of the brothers, Joshua Kurczewski, Ryan Burke, Jonathan Kanzler, Bohan Song and Aiden O’Brien, were each charged with reckless endangerment, which is a second degree misdemeanor. 

A bicyclist rides past Pennsylvania State University's shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity house Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in State College, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

The three-day preliminary hearing for 12 defendants charged in relation to the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza completed on Friday. District judge Steve Lachman said he will announce on Monday whether the charges will go to trial.

These 12 defendants are the second group of former Beta Theta Pi brothers charged in the criminal investigation into the death of Piazza. 

State College police detective David Scicchitano left the courthouse in Bellefonte on Thursday.
Min Xian / WPSU

The preliminary hearing for 12 defendants charged in relation to the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza continued in the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte on Thursday. 

Prosecutors continued their effort in building the case against the former fraternity brothers, who face charges ranging from reckless endangerment to hazing and furnishing. The charges were filed based on security footage of the basement of the fraternity house. The FBI recovered it after it was allegedly deleted.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Zarallo spoke about the hazing case during a press conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday.
Min Xian / WPSU

Prosecutors from the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General began on Wednesday to build the case against 12 defendants for charges in relation to the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza. A new judge is presiding over the preliminary hearing and will decide whether the defendants will go to trial for charges including reckless endangerment, hazing and furnishing. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday about the prosecution of fraternity members in the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza.
Min Xian / WPSU

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday about the prosecution of fraternity members in the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza. Shapiro detailed why, after completing an “independent and comprehensive” review, his office is fighting to reinstate involuntary manslaughter charges against five defendants and drop those charges against some others.

The Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Min Xian / WPSU

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office is appealing the dismissal of some charges in the case of the hazing death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.

The attorney general’s office is fighting to reinstate charges against eight defendants, including involuntary manslaughter charges faced by five former fraternity members.

President of the now-banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Brendan Young, and pledge master, Daniel Casey, are among those who had involuntary manslaughter charges cleared, but they both will go to trial on charges of conspiracy to commit hazing.

The Outing Club is one of three student-run clubs that have been disbanded by Penn State. The president of the club meets with the university Wednesday to negotiate.

Outing Club president Richard Waltz found the club his first year at Penn State. He says it was a pivotal moment for him.

“Freshman year that first trip to Shenandoah just absolutely changed the course of my college career,” Waltz said. “It was a defining moment for me.”

Penn State Students Help Refugees On Alternative Spring Break

Apr 2, 2018
Awaly Diallo, Paula Tabaschek and Shreya Sunder sort clothes at the Shop of Hope.
Lindsey Whissel Fenton / WPSU

Spring break conjures images of college kids partying in Cancun. But, for some students, this week off is spent doing community service.

Eleven Penn State students spent a week in Atlanta on a Penn State Alternative Break to work with refugees with the International Rescue Committee. Throughout the week, the students rotated through volunteer stations.

Duncan de la Feld, the volunteer coordinator at IRC’s Atlanta office, says the organization’s role in the refugee resettlement process takes over at airport baggage claim.

Timothy Piazza's parents as they entered the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte.
Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dismissed all involuntary manslaughter charges against five defendants in the Penn State hazing case in relation to the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. This is the second time Judge Allen Sinclair has thrown out those charges. 

The judge also dismissed all the reckless endangerment charges that eight defendants faced. Those charges were refiled by former Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller last November, after Sinclair dismissed them last September. 

Jim and Evelyn Piazza left the courthouse with their lawyers on Tuesday, after hearing closing statements for the second preliminary hearing for the hazing case resulting in the death of their son, Tim Piazza.
Min Xian / WPSU

Prosecution and defense have made their closing statements for the second preliminary hearing of the Penn State hazing death case. The judge is expected to rule on the charges Wednesday.

After cross-examinations with State College Police Detective David Scicchitano, defense attorneys made their closing statements one by one. The common theme was that the prosecution has no new evidence compared to the first hearing last year.

Defense lawyers argued fraternity members each had minimal responsibility in giving Tim Piazza alcohol and recognizing his fatal injuries.

A bicyclist rides past Pennsylvania State University's shuttered Beta Theta Pi fraternity house Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in State College, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Updated on March 27, 11:31 a.m.

 

The preliminary hearing for the Penn State hazing death case continued on Monday with new video evidence. The prosecution presented surveillance footage from the basement of the fraternity house recovered by the FBI.

 

Outside the courthouse, during a break from the proceedings on Friday, state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman released the details of the "Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law," joined by the Piazza family and Penn State president Eric Barron.
Min Xian / WPSU

Updated on March 23, 8:59 p.m.

The preliminary hearing for the Penn State hazing death case resumed on Friday in the Centre County courthouse.

Eleven former Beta Theta Pi members are facing charges in relation to the death of pledge Timothy Piazza in February 2017. Those charges range from involuntary manslaughter to hazing. All 11 defendants waived their right to be in court.

Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has dropped all assault charges and some involuntary manslaughter charges in the hazing case in relation to the death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.
Min Xian / WPSU

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has dropped all assault charges and some involuntary manslaughter charges in the hazing case in relation to the death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Zarallo filed a notice in court Thursday, saying the prosecutors will drop all aggravated assault and simple assault charges, but will continue to press involuntary manslaughter charges against five defendants.

photo: Ted S. Warren for AP / Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania State University has announced it will start equipping on-campus officers with naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote.

Officers on its University Park Campus have been trained on how to administer the medication and how to recognize an overdose. The university says officers will start carrying the medication Friday.

Penn State police say they decided to join university paramedics in carrying the medication due to a higher demand in rural areas.

cyberscam keyboard
AP

Penn State is launching its first “self-phishing” campaign today as part of its cybersecurity efforts. University faculty and staff across the state should expect to get emails testing their ability to avoid being scammed.

Holly Swires, chief privacy officer at Penn State, said the university wants to educate faculty and staff about malicious cyber-tactics.

Past Daily Collegian newspapers hang along the walls of the Collegian office.
Taylor Mason-Little / WPSU

Starting in 2018, Penn State’s Daily Collegian student newspaper will print a hardcopy paper only twice a week.

The independent student-operated newspaper is shifting its focus away from print. By the spring, the newspaper will print on Mondays and Thursdays instead of every weekday.

Editor-in-chief Sam Ruland says the change isn’t just about finances. The Collegian is following the trend of many other college newspapers that are no longer printing daily since the majority of readership is online.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the “Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano” by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

Beta Theta Pi fraternity building
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State has announced disciplinary measures for 32 students in relation to the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza.

Nineteen of the students withdrew from the university before the disciplinary process finished, Penn State stated in a press release Tuesday. Their transcripts will be marked with a “conduct withdrawal” notation.

Seven students received disciplinary actions ranging from probation to expulsion.

Six students were not charged with violations.

Ex-Assistant Coach Ends Whistleblower Lawsuit Against PSU

Nov 7, 2017
Mike McQueary leaves the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte, Pa., Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 surrounded by reporters.
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State assistant football coach has ended his defamation and whistleblower lawsuit against the university.

Court records show Mike McQueary's attorney filed for the lawsuit to be discontinued and ended with prejudice Friday, meaning the lawsuit cannot be brought back to court.

McQueary filed his lawsuit against the university in 2012 after he lost his job following the firing of former head coach Joe Paterno.

He later testified during the child sex abuse case against the school's former defensive football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Prosecutors Refile Some Charges In Penn State Frat Death

Oct 27, 2017
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller at podium next to a photo of Timothy Piazza and with his parents in person
Emily Reddy / WPSU

(Harrisburg) -- Prosecutors are reinstating some of the dismissed charges against members of a now-closed Penn State fraternity for actions related to the death of a pledge after a night of drinking and hazing.

The new charges were filed Friday, nearly two months after a judge threw out aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter counts against eight defendants. Those were the most serious charges brought in the case, and at least some are being refiled.

The next step in the legal process isn't immediately clear.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Penn State Faculty pianist Jose Ramon Mendez play two of the Four Impromptus, D. 935: No. 2 in A-flat and No.3 in B-flat; The Penn State Philharmonic playing The Fountains of Rome by Ottorino Respighi, with guest conductor Theresa Cheung; and PSU faculty saxophonist David Stambler, with pianist Kathy Gattuso-Cinatl, in Moment Musicaux by contemporary American composer Mark Lanz Weiser.

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at podium.
Stuart Ramson / AP Images for UN Foundation

 

Many know Dr. Jill Biden as the former Second Lady of the United States. But during Biden’s talk last night at Penn State, she gave the audience a glimpse into her personal life.

Biden shared struggles like losing her son to brain cancer and a friend to breast cancer.

Nancy Chiswick says she was inspired by Biden’s stories.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the “Overture, Scherzo and Finale,” by Robert Schumann, from a Music at Penns Woods Concert;  the "Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano" by Bill Douglas from a 2015 Penn State Faculty Recital with Naomie Seidman, Tim Hurtz and Christohper Guzman; and the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael Dolan in a 2017 performance of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershiwn.

Old Main, an administrative building and landmark of Penn State's University Park campus.
Lindsay Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

The ongoing budget impasse in Harrisburg has been especially frustrating to Pennsylvania’s state-related universities, which have been counting on a roughly $650 million allocation from the state to subsidize lower tuition rates for students who live in the commonwealth.

The allocation is negotiated and approved yearly by lawmakers, and this year, in the midst of a long-overdue budget plan, there remains no consensus on how to pay for it.

Members of the Penn State Puerto Rican Student Association stand with the Puerto Rican flag.
PRSA

Arianna Del Valle, a Penn State sophomore from Puerto Rico, described the terror of not being able to reach her family for days.

“I called my mom, my dad, my grandma, and like, the more people I called and the more they didn’t pick up, the more I panicked,” Del Valle said.

Del Valle is part of the Penn State Puerto Rican Student Association, which is trying to raise awareness of the devastation following Hurricane Maria.

Del Valle finally heard from her mom while she was in French class.

Students sign the anti-hazing pledge Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Cavallaro / IFC

In the wake of Penn State fraternity member Timothy Piazza’s hazing death in February, the Interfraternity Council is hosting Anti-Hazing Week.

At the bustling HUB-Robeson Center Wednesday afternoon, students signed a pledge against hazing.

Devon McDuffy signed the pledge. She said after what happened to Piazza, the community must come together to understand hazing has always been a problem.

Image showing paper plates, chip bags, and other trash among recyclable glass and plastic bottles
Amy Schirf / CCRRA

Amy Schirf pointed out the trash among the recyclables on the sorting line at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.

“We get a lot of pom poms, a lot of purses…there’s part of a cooler, bags of buns,” she said.

It's the first work day after Penn State's home game against Georgia State on Saturday and workers are sorting through the contents of the blue recyclables bags from the tailgate fields.

image: WPSU

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Autumn Song by Felix Mendelssohn, sung by Discantus, a chamber choir from the Oriana Singers with Jane Glocke conducting and Svetlana Rodionova at the piano; then The Planets by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

Whether graduate assistants at Penn State can vote on unionizing has been the focus of hearings the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board is holding in State College. The hearings are scheduled to end Wednesday.

Liana Glew is a graduate assistant in the English Department at Penn State and record keeper for the Coalition of Graduate Employees. She wants to make the university a better place for all graduate employees.

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