Penn State, Piazza family sign agreement for continued Greek-life reforms

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Penn State and the parents of Timothy J. Piazza have resolved their remaining outstanding issues relating to the tragic death of their son in 2017. A resolution, signed Jan. 25, formalizes the University’s initiatives and includes commitments to build upon the significant progress the University has made to date in instituting reform measures within Greek-letter organizations. With a continued shared focus on student well-being, the agreement reflects our mutual commitment to promoting positive change. This agreement reinforces messages and expectations that have already been established for the Greek-life community, and for which Penn State continues to evaluate progress.  

This agreement also identifies areas where we together believe more advancements in student safety efforts can be accomplished and promising collaborations can be formed with critical partners, such as alumni, parents, national organizations and others – all of whom are central to creating lasting change.  

Over the past two years, Penn State’s collective efforts to promote student safety have resulted in notable initial progress, such as decreases in alcohol-related emergency room visits and reductions in alcohol-related crimes and noise violations in areas where fraternity houses are located, as well as increases in grade-point averages for Greek-life members. For a more complete progress update, go here.  

We are pleased that the measures undertaken by the University — and now fully integrated into the operations of our Greek-life community — have been adopted quickly by our Greek-life members. The University’s fraternities and sororities share the goals of creating a safer environment and most have supported positive change through these reforms – which is worthy of recognition.

This new agreement identifies possible future actions that Greek-life chapters can take that will be encouraged and supported by the University. These measures provide an opportunity for Penn State to continue to lead the nation in Greek-life reforms that identify promising approaches to building and sustaining a strong community of purpose. In fact, Penn State’s recent announcement of the creation of the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform, a dedicated center for the study of best practices and assessment in Greek-letter organizations across the country, is part of the holistic approach envisioned for Greek life in which promising practices can be researched, disseminated and adopted to aid progress. 

Through this center, this new agreement, our existing reforms, and our continued search for best practices, we hope to create lasting positive change within all Greek-letter organizations to focus on the safety and well-being of all students.

Last Updated February 01, 2019