University Park, Pa. — Last week the Piazza case was back before a Centre County judge. Judge Marshall ruled that a gag order is in place to prevent the Piazzas from saying certain things in interviews or public speeches. The Piazzas say this will not stop their mission of spreading the word about the dangers of hazing.
Jim and Evelyn Piazza believe their efforts speaking out lead to changes at Penn State. They asked President Barron to take action and provide leadership.
Jim Piazza says, “I’m happy President Barron has taken it seriously, not that they’re done. They have more work to do, but he’s trying to take the lead in the country, which we appreciate.”
The Piazza’s want more punishment for hazing violations, and more communication with students and parents about those hazing cases. And they want to hear what kind of supervision is now found at all fraternity parties.
As Vice President for Student Affairs, Damon Simms has direct supervision over fraternity and sorority life and compliance. He’s confident the new Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity Research and Reform will be a major driver of change.
Simms says, “We’re very pleased they let us use Tim’s name in this way to form some activity that’s going to be meaningful. Not only at Penn State, but across the country as people look for leadership.”
Simms says the center will be operational in the fall.
The Piazzas are largely responsible for pushing the legislation that criminalizes hazing in Pennsylvania. Now they’re going after other states. Jim Piazza says, “We’re going after all of em. Some states don’t have any hazing laws at all. There’s some low hanging fruit, but I think we’ll get to hit em all at some point.”
A gag order may impact how they talk about Tim’s case, but it will not stop their mission of changing the way hazing is still destroying lives around the country. It will be Tim’s lasting legacy.
Jim says, “I don’t see us letting up, I honestly feel like we have a guardian angel pushing us along making sure we do what needs to be done.”
Here’s a link to the Piazza’s support page and foundation.