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Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform

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The Piazza Center enthusiastically supports Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s vision of “A future where every Pi Kappa Phi embraces his role as a leader, puts service before self and improves the world around him.”

We are writing to you today to raise awareness and support for the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform. The Piazza Center is dedicated to uplifting fraternity and sorority life. Our aim is to create healthy, life-changing, and lifesaving fraternities and sororities thereby reducing hazardous behaviors. We share a philosophy that when fraternity and sorority life is done well, there are rich leadership experiences that exponentially enhance the member experience while positively impacting the campus and community.

However, just this spring two more students died from hazing, Adam Oakes and Stone Foltz.1 In a recent CBS News Special Report, parents talk about the growing problem. College drinking and drug use are different today. A beer and wine-cooler culture has been replaced with shots, higher alcohol content liquors, illegal and prescription drug use. According to the Piazza Center’s research, members nationwide report the percentage of members who “sometimes” use recreational drugs is (45%) Panhellenic sororities, PHC, and (39%) Interfraternity chapters, IFC. In a typical week, students have binge drank (four or more drinks at a time) is (49%) IFC fraternities, (42%) PHC sororities, (17%) Multicultural Greek chapters, and (5%) National Pan-Hellenic chapters.

Currently, campuses and headquarters are in a quandary about strategies to increase positive outcomes and significantly reduce harm. An interview with a vice president of Student Affairs who oversees a large, historic Greek life community summarized their need: “. . .I’d like to have alternative approaches to solving some of our most vexing problems. We’ve got to know what works and what doesn’t. But as is the case with global economics, or other pressing issues of the day, there is plenty of information out there to inform our decisions. That’s not the case in fraternity and sorority life.”2

Until now, no entity has had the infrastructure and resources to engage stakeholders in a robust scientific approach to develop clear and definitive answers. The Piazza Center now has the structures and relationships in place. Funding is needed for the Center to conduct research on projects such as positive mental health and belonging, positive masculinity, co-curricular learning outcomes, civic and community engagement, and career readiness-competencies.

Our Request

The Piazza Center will become a national leader in creating new knowledge about policies, professional practices, and educational programs that are known to transform the fraternity and sorority experience on all college campuses. With overall costs to create the center estimated at $8 million, The Pennsylvania State University has committed $2 million in initial funding as well as an opportunity for up to $3 million in 1:1 matching funds for endowment gifts from donors.

Penn State invites Pi Kappa Phi Alumni to join us at the forefront of fraternity and sorority research by supporting the Piazza Center. Your personal or organizational donation will create a pathway forward so that fraternities and sororities can be safe and transformative and, indeed, extraordinary.

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$ 50.00 3 weeks ago
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$ 250.00 4 weeks ago

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