Hazing News

My Opinion: Disgraced Beta Theta Pi must triple its anti-hazing efforts. Beta adviser Tim Bream needs to resign as athletic trainer

Moderator. The great untold story in hazing is how many scrupulous, fair-minded chapter advisers kept the houses hazing free. The other untold one is how many chapter “mothers” and advisers hid in their rooms or left the premises when they knew a hazing event was due that night. PSU’s Beta Theta Pi adviser adviser Tim Bream, an athletic trainer, obtained a permit for alcohol at the event that killed Piazza during a booze-filled gauntlet. Insteads of watching like a hawk, he languished in his own room as the debacle and debauchery unfolded.

Editorial: First, investigating police need to subpoena Tim Bream’s cellphone records to clear him entirely or to see what and where he was situated as some evidence in a possible homicide was done away with. Did he think the brothers were going to serve milk ‘n’ cookies to Tim Piazza that night? One stern word from him could have restored order and saved a life.

Moreover, in my opinion, Bream should not be working with young adults in any capacity as adviser or athletic trainer. He should show the decency to resign. He chose to sleep in his room as a noisy, raucous hazing ordeal took place BEFORE HIS VERY EARS. He escaped having some of his post-tragedy handling of events under scrutiny at trial. Why? Because investigating officers erred on the side of caution and did not confiscate his cell phone as they had confiscated those mobile phones of the chapter’s fraternity members.

My second opinion is that the national Beta Theta Pi has suffered the same loss of reputation over hazing that befell Sigma Alpha Epsilon. SAE responded by instituting notable reforms.

It must be Beta Theta Pi national’s determination to do no less to regain its honor.

Some years ago the Beta Theta Pi national invited me to be a sort-of co-counselor working with incredibly impressive undergraduate members at a summer conclave in Oxford, Ohio.

It was one of the highlights of my writing about hazing death issues since I started in 1978.

My previous experiences make me hope Beta Theta Pi will do all the right things–especially re-evaluating its mission, Men of Principle program, hazing policies and each and every active chapter.

My sincerest and deepest condolences to the parents of Timothy Piazza.

The parents of Tim Piazza did not deserve the tragedy that befell them due to the abdication of responsibility of Tim Bream and the senseless lack of judgment and decency shown by chapter presidentBrendan Young, 21, of Malvern, Pennsylvania; Daniel Casey, 19, of Ronkonkoma, New York;  Jonah Neuman, 19, of Nashville, Tennessee; Nicholas Kubera, 19, Downingtown, Pennsylvania; Michael Bonatucci, 19, of Woodstock, Georgia; Gary Dibileo, 21, of Scranton, Pennsylvania;  Luke Visser, 19, of Encinitas, California;  Joseph Sala, 19, of Erie, Pennsylvania; Michael Schiavone, 21, of Yardley, Pennsylvania;  Parker Yochim, 19, of Waterford, Pennsylvania: Reckless endangerment, hazing, alcohol-related charges;Joseph Ems Jr., 20, of Philadelphia.

 Here are others accused of evidence tampering.

Craig Heimer, 21, of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania:

Lars Kenyon, 19, of Barrington, Rhode Island:

Edward Gilmartin, 20, of Scranton, Pennsylvania

 Ryan McCann, 22, of Pittsburgh: Evidence tampering.

Lucas Rockwell, 21, of Washington, D.C.: Evidence tampering.

Braxton Becker, 20, of Niskayuna, New York: Evidence tampering.

Ryan Foster, 21, of Bedford, Massachusetts: Evidence tampering.


By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--

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