A Penn State fraternity has had its chapter recognition revoked while officials investigate the death of an intoxicated underage member.
Beta Theta Pi has been banned for “no less than five years and may be made permanent upon completion of the criminal and University investigations now underway,” the school said in a statement Friday.
Sophomore engineering major Timothy Piazza, 19, died earlier this month after falling down the stairs during a party at the frat house. The student from Lebanon, New Jersey, was intoxicated, and help was not called for about 12 hours after his fall, authorities said, according to Philly.com.
“We cannot suitably convey the heartbreak we feel for the family and friends who are grieving the loss of Tim Piazza,” Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims said. “The information available to us about the actions that led to Tim’s death is deeply disturbing, and no sanction or restriction the University can levy is equal to the gravity of his death or the circumstances which we believe led to it.”
Four days after Piazza’s death, Penn State banned alcohol at fraternity parties, a move the school said would most likely remain in effect through the rest of the spring semester.
The school has also ceased new member programs of the Interfraternity Council “until the University is assured that effective and credible plans are in place to end hazing.”