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Penn State Puts Stop to Fraternity Parties Serving Alcohol

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State has indefinitely halted fraternity and sorority parties where alcohol is available because of a student’s recent death and what the school calls growing allegations of hazing, sexual assault and other misconduct.

The university announced Wednesday that Damon Sims, its vice president for student affairs, and the Penn State Interfraternity Council acted jointly to stop all alcohol-related social activities “until further notice.”

The decision followed the death Saturday of Timothy Piazza, 19, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Investigators said Beta Theta Pi fraternity members told them Piazza, a sophomore, was intoxicated when Piazza fell down a stairwell during a party late Thursday night.

Police said members of the fraternity didn’t call for help until about 12 hours later. The fraternity has been suspended.

Penn State said Sims told fraternity leaders the moratorium will remain until they agree to change their policies and practices.

The alcohol moratorium at the privately owned chapter houses on the main campus in State College will be enforced by spot checks of public areas by university officials and the Interfraternity Council.

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