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A Grieving Father and Penn State’s President Calls for National Action after Fraternity Death

One death at a fraternity is one too many, but it still keeps happening.

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Last year, Pennsylvania State University student Timothy Piazza fell down the stairs at a fraternity, and no one called the police for nearly 12 hours. Now, Penn State’s president Eric Barron and Piazza’s father, Jim Piazza, are calling for national action.

On Thursday, The Washington Post published an opinion editorial piece by the duo that called for a national database to, “put a spotlight on what’s really happening inside many Greek-letter organizations.”

Penn State has implemented a Greek-life scorecard at the university. According to Barron, the scorecard not only provides information students and families can use to make informed decisions, the scorecards “provide an early warning system if behavior starts to slip over a period of years.”

Barron believes that a national scorecard would be an effective tool that would give university leaders a way to evaluate these organizations as well as provide transparency.

Jim Piazza agrees. “As the father of a trusting, kind and caring young college student whose life was taken in February 2017 at the hands of his soon-to-be Beta Theta Pi fraternity ‘brothers,’ I wholeheartedly agree, Piazza wrote in the editorial piece. “There must be more transparency regarding behavioral issues at Greek organizations.”

However, Piazza believes that the scorecard alone would not be enough. He writes that universities need to “take on greater oversight” and that each state should have “meaningful anti-hazing laws.”

Piazza’s son Timothy passed away at a medical facility after falling down the basement stairs during a party at the Beta Theta Pi house. Police had not been called until nearly 12 hours later despite the fact partygoers were aware that Timothy fell.

Twelve of the Beta Theta Pi brothers went to court for the hazing death, but some charges, including reckless endangerment, have been dismissed.

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Arianna is College Media Network's Weekend Editor and a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work.

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