Jim and Evelyn Piazza went on NBC’S Megyn Kelly Today — marking a year to the day that their son, Tim Piazza, went through the Beta Theta Pi initiation ritual, which ended up being fatal for him.
The discussion focused mostly on Penn State’s actions in the year since their son died.
“I think they have tried to put some policies in place but they have a lot more to do,” Evelyn PIazza said. “We don’t know that they have followed through with everything they said they wanted to do. So, we have asked for it but we haven’t gotten actual confirmation and we know that there are things still going on, on campus, or off-campus, that they say they are trying but I don’t know that they are accomplishing a lot.”
Penn State has touted its “wholesale changes” in the past year, with President Eric Barron releasing a letter Thursday detailing some of those changes that he believes are making a difference.
“I am encouraged that we have received letters from our local community about improved chapter behavior in State College. Local law enforcement and others report reduced crowd sizes at fraternity gatherings. Fraternity and sorority leaders are working more closely with the university to implement the new safety programs. This is important progress,” Barron wrote.
Jim Piazza had a different story to tell — saying that the university hasn’t implemented many of the requested changes and that some pieces that school officials planned on using (bartenders at frat parties, police checkers a doors) are really just talk.
In response to a question from Kelly, he also brought up the fact that Penn State hasn’t released much information on the disciplinary action against those involved with Beta Theta Pi’s spring bid acceptance night last February.
“Penn State really hasn’t shared that information with us. As we understand it, there was some disciplinary action against six of the students and some of the students left on their own,” Jim Piazza said. “We’ve asked for the information a number of times, but they won’t give it to us. Even though there is a federal law, which says they are allowed to, they refuse to give us that information.”
Penn State found a total of seven conduct violations when it completed its investigation, while 19 of the students investigated decided to take a “conduct withdrawal” before Penn State finished its disciplinary process. Six students were not charged following the investigations.
Jim’s point about federal law allowing for more information to be shared is interesting considering that Penn State withheld names and punishments based of federal guidelines on student privacy.