Penn State Punishes 7 Students In Connection To Fraternity Pledge’s Death

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State said Tuesday it has meted out discipline in connection with the death of a fraternity pledge after a night of drinking and hazing.

The school said it punished seven students found to be in violation of the university’s student code of conduct. Penalties ranged from probation to expulsion, it said, but it did not give a breakdown, citing student privacy.

Violations included “hazing” and “creating a condition that endangers,” the school said. It did not identify the students.

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Another 19 students withdrew before completing the disciplinary process and must complete it before returning to Penn State, the school said. Six students participated in the process and were not charged with any violations.

Nineteen-year-old Tim Piazza of Lebanon, New Jersey, died of a fractured skull, damaged spleen and other injuries after drinking a dangerous amount of alcohol at a Beta Theta Pi pledge ceremony in February.

Authorities initially charged 18 students in Piazza’s death. A judge in early September threw out the most serious charges — involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault — against eight defendants. But prosecutors refiled all 16 of those charges.

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As a result, those defendants again face the possibility of several years in prison if convicted.

Two weeks after Piazza’s death, Penn State shut down the fraternity and said it will be at least five years before the Beta Theta Pi chapter might be allowed to regain status as a recognized fraternity.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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