Hazing News

Proposed Tim Piazza legislation: proposed 7 years for a death–update from Jim Piazza–nbc news

Death of Penn State fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza triggers anti-hazing bill

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania lawmaker has proposed a bill that would make severe hazing a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison — and fraternity houses where the hazing happened subject to confiscation.

Flanked by the family of Timothy Piazza, the 19-year-old who died after an alcohol-fueled fraternity pledge event at Penn State University last year, state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said Friday that the new bill would create “tiers” of hazing offenses. That means hazing could be a third-degree misdemeanor if it resulted in bodily injury and a third-degree felony if it resulted in serious bodily injury or death.

“This is something that’s been extremely important because under current law dealing with hazing, prosecutors can only charge M2s, misdemeanor twos, which may not reflect the severity of the crime,” Corman, a Republican, told reporters.

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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former 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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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