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Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Beta Theta Pi fraternity building
Emily Reddy

Penn State has revoked the charter of fraternity Beta Theta Pi effective immediately. The ban will last at least five years and may become permanent based on the results of a criminal investigation into the February 4th death of student Timothy Piazza.

Piazza fell down a flight of stairs at the chapter house, and was not taken to the hospital until 12 hours later. His death is the focus of a criminal investigation by the State College Police Department and an internal investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.


“The information available to us about the actions that led to Tim’s death is deeply disturbing, and no sanction or restriction the University can levy is equal to the gravity of his death or the circumstances which we believe led to it,” said Damon Sims, Penn State’s vice president for Student Affairs in a statement released by the university.


In addition to removing Beta Theta Pi from Greek Life at Penn State, the university has also banned all social activities involving alcohol for the rest of the semester and ceased all fraternity recruitment programs until comprehensive plans to prevent hazing are developed.

Emily Reddy is the news director at WPSU-FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station for central and northern Pennsylvania.