Following the death of a student, Pennsylvania State University indefinitely banned all alcohol at fraternity and sorority events.
On Saturday, Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza died as a result of an incident that occurred during a party at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity two days earlier. Onward State, the university's student newspaper, and the Associated Press report Piazza was intoxicated at the gathering, when he fell down a stairwell and sustained severe injuries. CBS News says Piazza was then left lying on a couch in critical condition for nearly 12 hours before other fraternity members called for medical treatment.
Since Piazza's injury and subsequent death, Penn State has adopted temporary polices concerning Greek life. Administrators suspended Beta Theta Pi for their specific role in the event and said that the suspension will last until the fraternity makes the necessary reforms. Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims and the Penn State Interfraternity Council also agreed to ban the consumption of alcohol during all fraternity and sorority activities until a process can be installed to make them safer.
In a statement to the student body, the university specified what it expects from Greek life leaders.
"Chapter presidents … must work together with the University and others to achieve better outcomes that are required to ensure a healthy, productive and sustainable fraternity and sorority system," the statement read.
Officials added that "an aggressive timeline is being established" for introducing reform.
"The Penn State fraternity and sorority community is a rich source of leadership opportunity, charitable activity, community service, networking and social experience" the university's statement read. "The University and its fraternity leaders are taking actions to improve the experience for all Penn State students and to ensure the sustainability of these important organizations."
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