Penn State leadership attends press conference to unveil antihazing legislation

March 23, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State President Eric Barron, along with other senior leaders, attended a press conference on Friday, March 23, for the introduction of a new state-wide antihazing bill, which will be known as the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law. The press conference was led by Jake Corman, state senator from Pennsylvania’s 34th district. Jim and Evelyn Piazza joined Senator Corman to speak about the importance of this legislation and the impact this bill could have on the landscape in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

As part of continued efforts to promote student safety and curb dangerous hazing and other related behaviors through legislative action, Penn State collaborated with state leaders on this bill that would update Pennsylvania’s antihazing law.

Senator Corman talked about components of the bill, including a new tiered penalty system, required reporting by secondary schools and institutions of higher education, new classifications of hazing, and accountability for individuals and organizations. For more details on the new legislation, please visit Penn State News.

Senator Corman also recognized President Barron and Penn State stating, “Eric Barron of Penn State offered an op-ed piece that said he was frustrated by the fact that even though Penn State had suspended certain organizations from campus, their national charters [would] not withdraw their recognition for these [hazing] activities, [and] they are still able to operate off campus, this [bill] would hold organizations accountable for their actions.”

Penn State advocated for the bill, which is intended to deter hazing through a combination of stricter penalties, increased reporting requirements to educate students and families, and by encouraging students to come forward and speak up if they or someone they know is in need of help. Senator Corman thanked President Barron for his “interest in the cause.”

Jim Piazza spoke about how the laws that are in place today are not a sufficient deterrent to prevent hazing. Piazza discussed the hazing epidemic across the nation and reiterated that if this law is enacted it would serve as a model for other states. The family stated their great appreciation for Senator Corman, and said they will continue their ongoing commitment to push this bill forward.

Jim Piazza ended his remarks by noting, “I would like to thank Eric Barron of Penn State, who is here with us today for his unwavering support of this bill, [it is] not only noteworthy that he is here, but also important that he is committed to changes at Penn State, and Pennsylvania and across the country.”

Last Updated March 26, 2018