Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Measure Signed into Law

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania now has some of the strictest laws in the countries when it comes to hazing.

Governor Tom Wolf Friday afternoon signed into law the "Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing law."

It's named after a Penn State sophomore who died last year after a night of heavy drinking at the Beta Theta Pi house at Penn State University.

Piazza's family was in Harrisburg to witness the bill named after their son signed into law.

There are usually a lot of smiles and some cheering on bill signing days at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. But Governor Tom Wolf says this is one bill he wishes never needed to come across his desk.

The Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law strengthens penalties for hazing and ensures schools have safeguards to protect students.

"There is no place for hazing on our college campuses. Together we will protect students and hold accountable those who engage in hazing," said Governor Wolf.

The law provides several measures to prevent hazing, including increased penalties such as felony charges. It also gives students immunity from prosecution for calling police.

Piazza's family was there as the bill was signed into law. Timothy's dad Jim Piazza says he hopes the law serves as a model to other states to sign similar bills.

"We have sadness in our hearts every day without Tim in our lives. But are encouraged that this law will serve to hold accountable those who commit the crime of hazing, which cost Tim his life. By its deterrent effect, will saves the lives of young men and women like Tim."

The Piazzas recently spoke to students who are in fraternities and sororities at Bucknell University in Lewisburg. Some of those students weighed in on the anti-hazing bill.

"I think it's great. I think there should definitely be harsh penalties for hazing because it's not anything anyone should have to go through," said sophomore Claire Martin.

"Greek organizations should be about friendship and sisterhood and brotherhood and not about anything else," sophomore Grace Ingebretsen said.

"I think anyone who would do it is probably going to keep doing it, and anyone who is wise would stop," added senior Tyler Dibartallo.

The Piazzas hope this new law in their son's name encourages other states to pass similar legislation.

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