By ALISON GOEBEL
A 19-year-old student, Timothy Piazza, who attended Penn State University, died on Feb. 3 after falling down a set of basement stairs at a fraternity party.
It was reported that he fell down the stairs around 11 p.m. on Feb. 2, but the police weren’t notified until 11 a.m. the next day. Piazza was eventually taken to a medical facility and died later that morning.
The former student had recently accepted an invitation to join Beta Theta Pi where the tragic incident took place. It was announced that in response to the death of Piazza this week at a fraternity, university officials have placed a moratorium on all social gatherings at on- and off-campus fraternities and sororities.
This being said, all of greek life is being revealed in a very negative light now that this happened. Several news articles focus on the actual incident that happened and the current investigations that are currently taking place due to the fact that the police were called nearly 12 hours after the accident.
The next big problem with this situation is that all of greek life is banned from having any social events. I have a friend who knows a lot of people at Penn State and she was describing to me how greatly impacted they were due to the death.
The news, I believe, does a great job of covering what the news organizations can do with this story. But even with these news stories and incidences occurring, it doesn’t seem to actually effect the greek life at other schools whatsoever.
So, I come to this conclusion that although there are very tragic deaths due to alcohol and hazing, fraternities still partake in these sort of events because, well, they always have.
Unfortunately, even with all the coverage of this accident, the news media and journalists have not been able to change this aspect of greek life or perceptions and mindsets about hazing.
There was only one article that I saw that covered the other side of the story, not what happened directly to Piazza but how it affected other students in other fraternities. I found this to be interesting.
All in all, I think journalists covered this breaking story well. Negative perceptions of outside greek life members will prevail and inside greek life students will have the same mindset as always; the more booze, the better it is.