Judson Horras, the president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, went on CBS This Morning to discuss the incident at the Beta Theta Pi house that resulted in the death of Timothy Piazza and the issues of hazing in fraternities around the country.
“It went from a fraternity situation of binge drinking and hazing into after the fall, a completely unacceptable reflection on humanity,” Horras said. “Those students should be held fully accountable. We fully support that process.”
"Those students should be held fully accountable," NIC Pres. Judson Horras says. pic.twitter.com/P2CNvRa4bb
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) May 24, 2017
“We encourage criminal charges,” Horras continued when asked about the upcoming proceedings for the 18 Beta Theta Pi brothers charged.
Horras, much like the university, eschewed the issue of heavy drinking in Greek Life as just what happens behind closed doors. Unlike the university, he didn’t provide much more of a solution than “the students engaging in conversation” with university administration.
“You have the drinking law and then you have the reality of the students,” Horras said. “We’re caught in a very challenging position to ensure safety, have honest dialogue about where they are, and force policies. But when it comes down to it, what works best and where we find success is when administrations and national organizations from the grass tops work with student culture, which is at the grass roots.”
According to CBS News, there have been more than 60 deaths in frats since 2005, which include alcohol and hazing-related incidents.
Horras made a claim that 1,800 college students died from alcohol poisoning last year, attempting to make the point that this is a college culture issue and not a frat culture issue. That number includes all alcohol-related deaths (including motor vehicle crashes), not just binge drinking. In reality, approximately 100 people between the ages of 15-24 die from alcohol poisoning each year, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Horras is just the latest in the rounds of media that those close to the case like Penn State President Eric Barron, Centre County DA Stacy Parks Miller, and the Piazza family have done as national attention for the case grows ahead of preliminary hearings begin on June 12.