BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A grand jury’s report in the wake of a pledge’s drinking death says that Penn State officials displayed “a shocking apathy” to dangers from excessive drinking and that its inaction allowed criminal acts to occur.
The report released Friday by a district attorney in Pennsylvania recommends a series of changes that the school should undertake in the wake of the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza in February.
The school permanently banned Beta Theta Pi in March, saying its investigation found a persistent pattern of excessive and forced drinking, hazing and drug use and sales.
The report calls on state lawmakers to pass stronger laws to deter hazing and underage drinking. It also calls on Penn State to regulate drinking itself, rather than hold a fraternity council responsible.
Piazza’s death occurred two days after he suffered a series of falls and consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol during a pledge bid night.
Penn State says it is committed to promoting safety and accountability in fraternities as it responds to the grand jury’s report.
Penn State says its efforts are limited by the unwillingness of national fraternities, their associations, undergraduate members and fraternity alumni to challenge behavior that’s been accepted for years and accept the need for major reform.
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