Board of Trustees

Penn State trustees to discuss changes after Timothy Piazza’s death

As Penn State becomes a frequent fixture in headlines attached to the death of one student and charges filed against 18 others, the board of trustees will meet to talk about the issues.

On Monday, the university announced an off-cycle board meeting on June 2. The trustees will meet in executive session from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A public meeting will then be held at 1 p.m. in Room 208 of the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. The purpose is to discuss a “comprehensive set of recommendations to ensure significant change.”

“The safety of our students and campus community is of paramount importance, and we are resolved to take decisive action,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement. “There are no easy solutions, but we will leave no stone unturned as we search for the most effective ways to achieve change.”

The trustees last met on May 5. That was also the day Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller announced the results of a grand jury investigation into the death of Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore from New Jersey who was injured in a fall at the Beta Theta Pi, the fraternity he was pledging. Piazza did not receive help for 12 hours while other members slapped him, sat on him and moved him. He died two days after the party, with brain and spleen injuries, according to documents.

That was in February. The university took immediate action in suspending Beta Theta Pi, but followed that in March with a permanent ban on the fraternity. Penn State also took steps against the Greek system, including deferring pledging from the fall semester to spring for the next school year, requiring trained servers to check identification at events with alcohol and limiting those events to just 20 instead of 45.

Penn State also reiterated a no-tolerance policy for hazing. Beta Theta Pi and a number of the fraternity members were charged with hazing.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce