Death of student at Penn State University calls for investigation

By Analee Getzel
February 16, 2017

Pennsylvania State University’s fraternity Beta Theta Pi is under investigation after the death of student, Timothy Piazza, 19, who fell down a set of steps at the house Saturday, February 4.

Piazza was attending a party at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house to which he accepted an invitation to join, the fraternity said in a statement. According to the Washington Post, Piazza fell at 11 p.m. Thursday and police weren’t notified till 10:49 a.m. Friday. It was also said that when paramedics arrived at the scene, Piazza was found still breathing but unconscious.

In a public news conference, Lt. Keith Robb of the State College Police Department said, “Penn State released that one of their students had died as a result of a fall. And that was it, so I assume most people thought, ‘Well, he fell, they called an ambulance, and he went to the hospital and unfortunately died.’” He continued, “Well, that’s not the story. The story was he fell, they waited 12 hours with him and finally called. Hence why we’re investigating why it took 12 hours for them to call.”

The University and the Interfraternity Council, which is the governing body for fraternities on the campus, has put the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on a temporary “cease and desist” until investigations are wrapped up according to Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

Since the accident, over 400 students along with Piazza’s family gathered on Old Main for a candlelight vigil in remembrance for Piazza’s life and other outstanding qualities.

According to the Collegian, Piazza’s father said over 3,000 people showed to his viewing, and 600 at his funeral.

“Let’s be honest, this didn’t have to happen,” father James Piazza said. “So we ask of all of you is to be smart, be aware, be safe. If you can help someone. Don’t think about it, just help them.”

Following the death of Piazza, Pennsylvania State University indefinitely placed a ban on all alcohol related fraternity and sorority events.

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