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Greek Life

Penn State Football Trainer Resigns in Wake of Hazing Death

Tim Bream lived in fraternity house in which pledge Timothy Piazza sustained injuries that lead to his death.

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The head football trainer for Penn State, Tim Bream, is resigning a year after his involvement in a Beta Theta Pi hazing death. Bream was living in the fraternity house at the time of the young man’s death as an advisor.

In his testimony regarding the event last August, Bream said: “I, in no way, shape, or form, would give permission to any type of alcohol abuse, gauntlet, or anything like that.” The members of the now-defunct fraternity are facing charges for the death including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

The parents of the young man who died last year, Timothy Piazza, are reportedly happy that Bream is retiring.

In a statement regarding Bream’s involvement, the Piazzas said, “there is no way he didn’t know there was an illegal hazing event with alcohol going on and because he lived there for years, there is no way he didn’t know there was a history of illegal hazing and excessive drinking going on.”

There was no official reason given by Bream for his retirement. Penn State athletics said in a statement that Bream will be retiring at the end of the month and that they wish him luck in his future endeavors. Before working for Penn State athletics, he worked for the Chicago Bears and the athletic departments of the University of Richmond, Vanderbilt University, Syracuse University, and West Virginia University.

Caitlin Wills is a senior journalism major at the University of Colorado Boulder with a minor in creative writing. She has written for various websites including The Odyssey Online and The Tempest, and currently writes album reviews for MXDWN. After she graduates in May, she hopes to find a career in music journalism but is open to any full-time job offers. Follow her on Twitter @caitlinjherrera.

Campus Crime

Parents of Fraternity Hazing Victims to Attend Two-Day Retreat

Over a dozen parents will connect and plan for future action to stop hazing.

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When sending their children off to college, parents want them to learn and have fun. They don’t expect them to be involved in a fatal hazing incident. Sadly, that is a tragic reality for some families.

Three years ago, Tucker Hipps passed away at just 19 years old during a hazing incident. A Clemson University sophomore at the time, he wanted to join Sigma Phi Epsilon, a campus fraternity. But on a morning run with some of the fraternity members on September 22, 2014, he was allegedly forced by a fraternity member to walk over a narrow bridge crossing Lake Hartwell. He then fell from the bridge and died from his injuries.

His mother, Cindy Hipps, is hosting the inaugural Parents Anti-Hazing Retreat in Greenville, South Carolina this Friday and Saturday. Over a dozen parents who have lost children to hazing will attend the private event where speakers and activities are scheduled. Two of the speakers include author and journalist Hank Nuwer and Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Hipps has already taken legal action herself. In 2016, the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act was signed into law by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. This law requires tracking and public reports of misconduct by fraternities and sororities at public universities.

Parents from all over the country will attend the two-day conference this weekend to connect with other parents and help plan what action could be taken to stop future hazings from happening to other students.

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Greek Life

Today’s Frat Suspension: AR -15 Found in Washington U. Phi Delta Theta House

The frat is permanently suspended from campus and the student responsible for the weapon has been removed.

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A fraternity at Washington University (St. Louis), Phi Delta Theta, is permanently suspended after the discovery of firearms in the fraternity house and violations of the fraternity’s previous primary suspension.

Washington University Police Department found an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon in the fraternity’s on campus house, and a handgun in a car parked in a University garage. The discovery of the weapons came after an anonymous sources provided a photo of the weapons on social media with a partial Phi Delta Theta flag visible in the background.

The owner of the weapons, a student at Wash U and member of Phi Delt, has been removed and suspended from campus.

The fraternity was under investigation and temporary suspension from Wash U after allegations of a hazing incident in spring 2017. Phi Delt worked to maintain the University’s recognition after the decision was made for the fraternity to uphold a year long suspension beginning in December 2017.

According to independent newspaper of Wash U, Student Life, another investigation into the fraternity began in February due to unsanctioned social events.

Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs, Jill Friedman, stated that the University’s decision to permanently suspend the fraternity comes after multiple violations under the previous suspension.

“There have been concerns about their activity under that temporary suspension,” Friedman said. “The decision on this permanent suspension was in consideration of these concerns and made overwhelmingly on other violations [apart from the firearms].”

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Charity

Purdue Fraternity Kickstarts Fundraiser After Tragedy Strikes House Mother

Look! It’s a positive fraternity story!

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Purdue University’s chapter of Zeta Beta Tau took matters into their own hands when tragedy struck their house mother, Vanessa Trail.

On Feb. 5, Trail was at home with her children and husband, Jason, when their house succumbed to a fire. While Trail and her children were able to escape the house with severe injuries, her husband did not survive.

Zeta Beta Tau members created an online fundraiser for Trail and her children. With a GoFundMe account and a social media campaign, the fraternity has managed to raise over $19,000 for their house mother in just two weeks.

Matt Mosomillo, the creator of the GoFundMe fundraiser, made it known that, after all Trail and her family had done for the fraternity, it was time for the chapter to return the favor.

“Both of these people always had a smile on their face while doing their jobs, and they were such a pleasure to have around our house,” Mosomillo said. “A conversation with either of them could brighten any brother’s day. For all that they have done for us, it is only right we try to give back to their family in any way we can in this time of need.”

The campaign has generated nearly 1,000 shares and is very close to their fundraising goals as of the writing.

 

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