IUP to Host Parents of Timothy Piazza, Part of Anti-Hazing Coalition

Posted on 2/12/2019 2:44:32 PM

The parents of Timothy Piazza, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, will be at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium on Feb.18 at 7:30 p.m.

Timothy Piazza was a sophomore at Penn State in 2017 when he died after a night of pledging a fraternity. The Piazzas will speak to the community about the death of their son and their hope for change on college campuses.

The program is free and open to the community and is sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The Piazzas and Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver, parents of Max Gruver; Rich and Maille Braham, parents of Marquise Braham; and Lianne and Brian Kowiak, parents of Harrison Kowiak, have joined the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to form a partnership that will focus on pursuing and strengthening state hazing laws and significantly expanding education and training for high school and college-aged students.

Other organizations within the fraternal community—HazingPrevention.Org, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV)—have committed their support to these efforts.

“After meeting with Jud and some of his colleagues, the other parents and I saw a sincerity to make change and a real interest to work with us. We collectively agreed forming this alliance made sense,” said Jim Piazza. “While we may seem like strange bedfellows, we all want the same thing—to end hazing, so other parents don’t have to experience what we have.”

When students arrive at college, nearly half have already experienced hazing. This Coalition seeks to address the problem earlier through education, while also strengthening accountability and transparency through new model state legislation.

The coalition goals include:

  • Pursue state-based anti-hazing legislation that delivers greater transparency through stronger hazing reporting requirements, strengthens criminal penalties and encourages prosecution, calls for university accountability for bad actors, provides amnesty to encourage people to call for help, and calls for student education.

  • Expand awareness and intervention education, including providing a platform for the parents to speak to tens of thousands of college students.

  • Engage fraternity and sorority members in educating high school students to confront hazing and bullying.