No charges have been announced yet in the death of a Penn State student at a fraternity party, but the university has confirmed that an off-duty employee was affiliated with the house.
Nittany Lions football athletic trainer Tim Bream is a 1983 graduate who worked for the Chicago Bears for nearly 20 years. He was previously listed on the local chapter’s list of advisers on the web page. That page is no longer publicly available.
Penn State did not confirm Bream’s name but did issue a statement: “The university is aware that one of its employees served as an adviser to Beta Theta Pi on his personal time. All fraternities and sororities have advisers; individuals who, on their own time, serve as a resource for information to the particular chapter. We are unable to offer any further details while investigations are underway.”
The investigation is regarding the Feb. 4 death of Timothy Piazza after a fall down the stairs at a party late on Feb. 2. Piazza was found by police at the Burrowes Street fraternity house at 10:49 a.m. Feb. 3 and transferred to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where he died.
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A Dauphin County coroner ruled the fall accidental, but State College police are looking into the surrounding circumstances. Penn State initially suspended the chapter but later revoked recognition entirely.
Teresa Marino, mother of one of the Beta Theta Pi brothers, told the Centre Daily Times that Bream is “the adult living in the frat house, the academic adviser.”
The CDT attempted to reach Bream by email but did not get a response.
Marino said families are now dealing with a new challenge as the first half of the semester comes to a close, namely where their students will live when they come back after spring break.
“The former Beta Theta Pi house is privately owned and on private property, but we are working with the now-defunct fraternity's alumni board (who own the house) to help find the 39 former fraternity members who resided in the house an on-campus option for the remainder of the semester,” said university spokeswoman Lisa Powers.
“We've made arrangements through the University's Housing & Food Services to offer each of these men individual rooms with contracts in our residence halls beginning March 15, following spring break. It is my understanding that the alumni board/landlord will allow them to stay put until that time,” Powers said.
“Arrangements were finally given to parents that the boys could move into the East Halls as of (March 15) after spring break with an additional price tag of $2,633 for rent (and) $1,000 for a new meal plan, in addition to what some of else (sic) have already paid,” Marino said. Space was available due to December graduations, study abroad, internships and other factors that occur in Spring semester. Not all of the former occupants of the defunct Beta house have taken the offer for on-campus housing. The costs for any on-campus housing and food service have been prorated for the remainder of the semester.”
Marino said the brothers are being evicted as of Saturday.
She said she had previously paid $5,221 for “rent and dues” for the second semester in January. Her check was dated Jan. 26. It cleared her bank on the day Piazza was found by police.
“We do not have any role in the rental costs associated with the now-defunct fraternity house,” Powers said.
The Alpha Upsilon chapter of Beta Theta has not given comment since a statement put out after Piazza’s death. Mark Bernlohr at the Ohio law firm Jackson Kelly PLLC said he could “not comment due to the ongoing investigation.”