Penn State v Iowa
A cheerleader of the Penn State Nittany Lions carries a banner through the endzone to celebrate a touchdown against the Iowa Hawkeyes on October 20, 2012 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Matthew Holst—Getty Images

Penn State Permanently Bans Fraternity Where Pledge Died Last Month

Mar 30, 2017

Penn State University on Thursday permanently banned a fraternity where a student died last month and announced new policies aimed at preventing underage drinking and hazing.

The school revoked recognition of its chapter of Beta Theta Pi after it said an investigation found a “persistent pattern” of alcohol abuse, hazing, and drug use and sales. The probe into 19-year-old Timothy Piazza's death is ongoing, but State College Police have said he was injured in a fall down a set of stairs while pledging the frat, and that alcohol may have played a role in his death, according to CBS News.

Going forward, the university said its staff would collaborate with student leaders to make sure students adhere to underage drinking restrictions. The school also imposed new restrictions on events where alcohol will be served and said fraternity and sorority recruitment will be moved from the fall to the spring.

These changes follow Penn State’s decision last month to ban alcohol from fraternity social events through the rest of the spring semester. In the new announcement, the university warned that if fraternities and sororities do not follow the regulations, the school may have to permanently ban alcohol from its Greek-letter system.

Before the recent investigation, Beta Theta Pi was “ostensibly was among the best fraternity chapters” at Penn State, the university’s Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims told CBS News.

A lawyer for the fraternity told CBS that it would fight the university’s decision.

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