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-   -   Beta Theta Pi pledge dies at Penn State (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=226258)

honeychile 05-06-2017 10:25 PM

Horrific doesn't begin to describe Timothy Piazza's death. How did it take over 12 hours to get him to the hospital? Twelve!

Just interested 05-07-2017 04:28 PM

Saw it on CNN the other day and they were interviewing Piazza attorney. Not only was a life lost but those 18 young men have made decisions that will change their life forever.
How simple it would have been to own up to it and get help immediately and hopefully saving a life instead of covering it up and at the same time posting on social media. Duh!!!

IndianaSigKap 05-08-2017 12:24 AM

What also bothered me about the articles, one pledge brother wanted to call 911 after it happened and he was physically prevented from doing so. How could that many people show such bad judgement?

aephi alum 05-08-2017 12:57 AM

This is alarmingly similar to the case of Scott Krueger.

Scott pledged Fiji at MIT back in 1997. One evening, he and his pledge brothers were allegedly placed in a room and told they couldn't leave until they'd consumed all the alcohol in the room. Scott passed out from alcohol poisoning. The brothers were apparently afraid to call 911 that night because they didn't want to get arrested for hazing and providing alcohol to minors (real brotherly behavior!), but did so the next morning when they found he was still unconscious. He was admitted to MGH with a 0.41 BAC -- AFTER he'd been out cold for several hours. He spent a couple of days in a coma before he died.

Now all freshmen must live in the dorms. Before this, freshmen who pledged fraternities or independent living groups moved in as soon as they signed. (At the time, three out of five NPC sorority chapters had houses, and those houses weren't big enough to house all the sisters, never mind new members.) The campus is still wet, but alcohol consumption, particularly underage drinking, is more strongly policed.

This incident happened nearly twenty years ago. When will we learn?? :(

PGD-GRAD 05-08-2017 08:03 AM

This morning on "Good Morning America" Kordel Davis, a former Beta Theta Pi at Penn State, was interviewed regarding the death of Piazza. He spoke about realizing that Timothy was not just "drunk" but unconscious, needing medical help immediately; he spoke up but was ignored. He spoke of brothers worrying more about themselves and the chapter rather than one pledge's life. It was a very sad and sobering interview.

Kevin 05-08-2017 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aephi alum (Post 2431420)
This incident happened nearly twenty years ago. When will we learn?? :(

We won't so long as our membership is comprised primarily of 18-22 year olds. For the vast majority of us, nothing remotely approaching what happened in your example or with Penn State Beta ever happened and I think that is the key point to argue here.

The comments sections of so many of these articles about this PSU incident are pretty disturbing. So many people, despite in the U.S. not really having a legal leg to stand on, want to see the entire Greek system disbanded.

As much as we know about the good our groups are responsible for, we could probably do a much better job communicating that to the public because if we don't, we're going to start to see an impact in our recruiting, and if you want to look at the last 50 years in terms of participation in Greek Life, I'd say we've already felt a lot of that effect.

By refusing to do something substantial, we're making a choice to cater to and recruit the sorts of members who are responsible for a lot of the bad decision making which results in these problems.

navane 05-08-2017 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 2431435)
By refusing to do something substantial, we're making a choice to cater to and recruit the sorts of members who are responsible for a lot of the bad decision making which results in these problems.


I am interested in your thoughts on this. Can you expand on your statement?

PGD-GRAD 05-08-2017 03:46 PM

I just read that during last weekend's graduation ceremonies at Penn State, university officials put a "graduation hold" on any Beta member named in the official criminal investigation. The article also stated that PSU was doing its own investigation and would impose its own disciplinary sanctions.
I'm wondering: does this mean seniors will be denied their diplomas and not earn their degrees? And perhaps others will be officially kicked out of school? (The "kicked out" would not surprise me; the holding or denying of diplomas does just a bit--not saying I disagree with it.)
Has anyone heard of this being done previously?

Kevin 05-08-2017 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by navane (Post 2431442)
I am interested in your thoughts on this. Can you expand on your statement?

Our organizations are structurally designed in such a way that allows these risky behaviors to continue. I understand our organizations have to remain financially feasible, but it seems like in this case and others, we have these chapters, which by most measures are amazing chapters with 200 men, outstanding facilities, alumni support, etc.

It's time to consider some redesign work.

What happened at PSU was some sort of hazing related to initiation in some way, right?

Where were the alumni? How come they continue to tolerate this risky behavior? Why did no alumni intervene at any point? How were they able to have forced consumption of liquor as part of their pledging process and the alums be none the wiser?

We can't afford to have paid advisers living in every chapter facility and HQ isn't going to put surveillance equipment in every house. The only reasonable solution is that national organizations need to do a better job at cultivating alumni volunteers and getting buy in when those volunteers inject themselves into all aspects of the chapter.

NPC organizations are much more on top of this from what I've seen, which is why we recently added a former AXiD president to our advisory board. Why reinvent the wheel?

GreekOne 05-08-2017 05:12 PM

Sadly, this chapter did have a paid adviser living in the house. There is no way that he could have been unaware of what was going on. Even with that level of support, there was a problem. I agree with you, Kevin, that NPC groups do a much better job of regulating this than IFC chapters. I would say, that it is because from my experience, both as a collegian, parent of my legacy daughter and chapter adviser our organization does not haze. I can't speak to the other NPC groups. But, my husband was hazed and he believes it to be part of his chapter's culture. If he were to serve as an adviser, he would be far more tolerant than I would be. I don't know why this behavior is so prevalent with the men's organizations but it seems to be common place. Perhaps the men that won't endure it, drop from pledging. Those that remain are the ones that believe it is a necessary part of the process for a bond to develop. We women learned long ago that this is not the case.

Kevin 05-08-2017 05:19 PM

This is a big reason why when I have the opportunity to discuss expansion with anyone from our Headquarters, I am emphatic about the need to expand into new territory rather than reopen closed chapters.

Those closed chapters are closed for a reason--their members, now alumni, were part of a bad culture. Reopen those chapters and those same alumni are going to come back--and just as soon as the expansion consultant is wheels up, those bad practices are going to start seeping back in.

As founding members, we took our jobs very seriously and ensured that structurally, alumni would be a big part of events which are where most of your hazing takes place. It is no accident that our badge no. 1 is now a highly sought after consultant in the area of organizational development and leadership.

NPC groups decided years ago to get serious about this issue--to declare housing dry, to truly eliminate hazing. In doing so, I think it's safe to say that on the whole, NPC groups are vastly more successful than their counterparts.

It's time for us to get with the times or die a slow death.

naraht 05-08-2017 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreekOne (Post 2431449)
Sadly, this chapter did have a paid adviser living in the house. There is no way that he could have been unaware of what was going on. Even with that level of support, there was a problem. I agree with you, Kevin, that NPC groups do a much better job of regulating this than IFC chapters. I would say, that it is because from my experience, both as a collegian, parent of my legacy daughter and chapter adviser our organization does not haze. I can't speak to the other NPC groups. But, my husband was hazed and he believes it to be part of his chapter's culture. If he were to serve as an adviser, he would be far more tolerant than I would be. I don't know why this behavior is so prevalent with the men's organizations but it seems to be common place. Perhaps the men that won't endure it, drop from pledging. Those that remain are the ones that believe it is a necessary part of the process for a bond to develop. We women learned long ago that this is not the case.

I'd say *some* of it can be tied to the fact that the NPC sororities never dealt with the men who had endured military service and training (and thus military hazing) in World War II and then after the war came back and restarted (either de jure or de facto) the chapters.

Kevin 05-08-2017 05:32 PM

My chapter has several veterans and active duty members. Enduring military service is no excuse to haze. I understand the historical implications, but when we are killing kids who would not otherwise be dead, our organizations shouldn't be in the position of saying they only kill x number of kids and that 99.9% are going to be fine. I don't think that's a great way to sell our product.

GreekOne 05-08-2017 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by naraht (Post 2431452)
I'd say *some* of it can be tied to the fact that the NPC sororities never dealt with the men who had endured military service and training (and thus military hazing) in World War II and then after the war came back and restarted (either de jure or de facto) the chapters.

That is a very interesting perspective that I had never considered. It is a history and a chain that somehow needs to be broken; or we will continue to see stories like this one repeating themselves.

Sen's Revenge 05-09-2017 02:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevin (Post 2431451)
This is a big reason why when I have the opportunity to discuss expansion with anyone from our Headquarters, I am emphatic about the need to expand into new territory rather than reopen closed chapters.

Those closed chapters are closed for a reason--their members, now alumni, were part of a bad culture. Reopen those chapters and those same alumni are going to come back--and just as soon as the expansion consultant is wheels up, those bad practices are going to start seeping back in.

This is deep. I will be thinking about this for a while.


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