Beta Theta Pi at Penn State, Message From Beta’s General Secretary
Category : News
I am writing to you as chapter leaders regarding news out of State College, Pennsylvania, and our Alpha Upsilon Chapter at Penn State University.
As you may already know, the Fraternity recently lost a new member, Timothy Piazza, who sustained serious injuries after a tragic incident in the chapter house.
While investigations into the events leading up to Piazza’s death are ongoing, the General Fraternity and Penn State University leaders have learned enough from the findings to reach a decision to close the Alpha Upsilon Chapter. These findings are not in keeping with Beta Theta Pi’s longstanding values of responsible conduct, mutual assistance and integrity. Upon those founding principles, the Fraternity is unequivocal.
If circumstances warrant additional updates, they will be posted at beta.org/pennstateclosure.
In bringing you this news, I have two requests.
First and foremost, that you keep Tim’s family in your thoughts and prayers. Their loss is unimaginable, and for that they will always have the Fraternity’s deepest condolences.
Second, that you take time today to reflect on your own chapter’s culture. Take time to consider your own chapter’s new members and how you as a leader are performing to promote the well-being of all who wear the badge and bear the name of Beta Theta Pi. Perhaps you stepped into your position believing that an incident of such gravity could never happen in your chapter or the one you support.
However, the Alpha Upsilon Chapter was consistently ranked as a Chapter of Excellence at Penn State, and won Chapter of the Year on campus twice in the last six years – as recently as 2015. All chapters, regardless of their past successes, must prioritize risk management and safety within the brotherhood.
As your General Secretary, I am committed above all else to promoting your safety. You can help me do so by fostering a chapter environment that is centered on love, family and personal integrity.
Tonight, there is a family missing a son and a campus missing a Beta chapter. The greatest tribute we could make in Tim Piazza’s memory is to ensure no such situation is ever experienced again in the halls of Beta Theta Pi.
Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,
S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73