Penn State to host one-day conference to provide guidance on new anti-hazing law

May 02, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Student Affairs will host a one-day drive-in conference May 9 on the University Park campus with presentations and workshops related to the newly enacted Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law in Pennsylvania. The conference is a collaboration among the Offices of Student Conduct, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Student Activities, as well as the Association for Student Conduct Administration, a national organization dedicated to student conduct in higher education.

The conference is open to all Pennsylvania higher education institutions and is designed to foster open dialogue and future connections within the community of professionals that work with anti-hazing initiatives and policies. Specifically, the conference will engage and support professionals working in the areas of student conduct, student activities, fraternity and sorority life, student affairs, campus recreation, or other related units.

James Keller, chair of the higher education practice group at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, will give the keynote address. Breakout session topics will include how to provide education on the anti-hazing law, developing institutional policy on the anti-hazing law, guidance on completing the biannual reporting requirements, how to structure an organizational conduct process, navigating shared responsibilities with internal and external partners, and investigating organizational misconduct.

The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, or Act 80, is named after Timothy Piazza, who died tragically in February 2017 after hazing at the now permanently banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State. This new law, supported by the University and the Piazza family, establishes a tiered penalty system with stricter punishments for hazing; classifies new types of hazing; holds both individuals and organizations accountable for hazing; and requires secondary schools and institutions of higher education to publish anti-hazing policies. In addition, the statute provides immunity for individuals in need of medical assistance as a result of hazing or underage alcohol consumption, as well as for those who seek help for others. The act was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October 2018 and became Pennsylvania law on Nov. 18, 2018.

Specific to Greek-letter organizations, in 2017, Penn State announced a comprehensive set of safety initiatives, including immediate revocation of University recognition for hazing that involves alcohol or physical abuse, and support for enhanced educational measures in addition to those already in place. For more information, visit pennstateupdate.psu.edu.

To learn more or register for the conference, visit the conference website. Conference registration will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.

Last Updated May 02, 2019