Many residents of Centre County are familiar with and horrified over the callous and needless death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza, who died after falling down repeatedly, including one time head-first down a flight stairs at the frat house during a pledge ceremony where he was treated in a “grotesque” manner by the frat members.
Many are also familiar with the grand jury investigation that found Beta “nurtured an environment of excessive drinking and hazing” causing its members “to act with reckless disregard to human life.” Penn State’s Interfraternity Council was also found to be responsible for allowing the fraternity to operate “within a permissive atmosphere.”
While the final adjudication of the parties involved is weeks into the future and their legal fate is in the hands of the county’s court system, other actions outside of the purview of the legal system should be considered.
One such action that should be taken regards the fraternity house — the building itself. As a parent and secondary school teacher horrified at this needless death, I propose this tragedy be turned into a learning experience. The house should be demolished and razed. In its place a memorial park or garden or study area should be built in, not just the memory of Piazza, but the memories of all Nittany Lion students who needlessly perished from alcohol abuse, whether of their own doing or at the hands of others.
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Girard Histed, Archbald