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May 15: Penn State Response to Inquiries

Our hearts go out to the family. This is heart wrenching for the family, and our entire community.

Penn State initiated aggressive enforcement, education and monitoring measures to address these issues well before the tragic death of Timothy Piazza, and announced additional measures following, some of which were taken in consultation with the family. Our actions will continue, and represent our ongoing commitment to drive change in tackling binge drinking at universities. This is a national problem that has been worsening. The University’s extensive education and enforcement policies are available at Penn State Update. Of note, while Penn State has one of the most aggressive student misconduct policies in the country, and its off-campus policy pertaining to misconduct remains the most vigorous in the Big Ten, it is complicated by the fact that fraternities at Penn State, and other universities, are independent from the University, which is why we must work together. All parents and families, and Penn State want students to have a safe college experience, and we will not rest in our efforts until this problem is curbed.

Penn State senior administrators have communicated frequently with the Piazzas since Tim’s tragic death, and have given careful consideration to the family’s needs and wishes throughout this deeply troubling time, as the search for answers to this national problem continues. The University administrator assigned responsibility for representing the school at student funeral services was unable to attend the service for Tim due to a personal emergency. He contacted the Piazza family in advance of the service to let them know about his conflict. The University did participate in a vigil held with the Piazza family on campus. Even so, we deeply regret that no one was asked to attend Tim’s funeral in his place. There should be no question, however, that Tim, his family, and his friends have been constantly in our thoughts ever since this tragedy occurred, and there they remain, with our most profound sympathy.

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