The lawsuit filed in Tompkins County, New York, and reported on by The Cornell Sun, details the last night of Tsialas life and provides insight into the alleged Phi Kappa Psi rush practices. January 29, 2020 By Hank Nuwer Leave a Comment. “The tragic death last year of Antonio Tsialas left an indelible void that continues to be felt across our campus today," he wrote. A U.S. appeals court says three members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have a plausible case that they were implicated in a now-retracted story about an alleged gang rape at U.Va. The instrument defining Phi Kappa Psi’s possession of the chapter house is the Cornell University Residence Program of 1966 (CURP ’66), which seeks to improve the general social and community welfare of the Cornell community through service to others. “Christmas in October,” a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity tradition at Cornell University, was the last place Antonio Tsialas was seen alive. Scherr and Hanuch declined to comment to The Sun. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com. "We've just passed the one year anniversary of (Antonio's) death, and we don't know how or why he died," Bianchi said. A Cornell University freshman found dead in an upstate New York ravine in October attended a fraternity party with seven drinking rooms the night before he … The report also determined that he had acute alcohol intoxication. Ronald Ransom, Phi Kappa Psi national executive director, wrote to The Sun that the national chapter had not been served with the suit. If you see something, say something. Cornell University (NBC) (12/02/20)— No criminal charges will be filed in the mysterious death of a Cornell University freshman whose body was found in a … Our firm has named 11 defendants in our lawsuit: Phi Kappa Psi, the chapter advisor, 8 fraternity officers and members, and Cornell University. Following the death of Tsialas, Cornell University President Martha Pollack announced several policy changes governing Greek activities at the Ivy League school. There were also other tenets that were agreed upon and Bianchi could announce, however: A perpetual scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student every year that will bear Antonio Tsialas' name; the annual anti-hazing program will be named the Antonio Tsialas Memorial Anti-Hazing Program; the school had to turn over the entire police investigation file since the case began and hold a Zoom conference with a contingent of attorneys representing the family discussing the investigation; Cornell is required to turn over the results of the internal disciplinary process against students who were involved in the party that preceded Tsialas' death, as well as the aforementioned financial payment. Rush chairman Nolan Berkenfeld ’20, House manager Pietro Palazzolo Russo ’21, Shane Rohe ’21, who allegedly escorted Tsialas to the “dirty rush” event and Felipe Hanuch ’22, who the suit says invited Tsialas to the event, were also listed. The University did not keep the family or the family’s lawyer informed of the ongoing investigation, Bianchi told The Sun in a phone call Wednesday morning. We are an independent, student newspaper. "If you don't bring hazing charges under the circumstances of this case, when are you ever going to enforce that law? Bulletin: Lawsuit involving CORNELL UNIVERSITY, PHI KAPPA PSI FRATERNITY, INC., NEW YORK ALPHA OF Pm KAPPA PSI ASSOCIATION, INC., ANDREW SCHERR, SHANE ROHE, WILLIAM GRANATH, RYAN BERMAN, NOLAN BERKENFELD, PIETRO PALAZZOLO RUSSO, FELIPE HANUCH and JOHN JACOBS. The settlement includes a financial component, though terms of the monetary agreement between the school and the family are confidential, according to David Bianchi, the Miami-based attorney who represented the Tsialas family throughout the lawsuit. Cornell University Police Department has also announced that it will not be bringing charges in the case, a decision issued last night on Facebook. By the end of the seven rounds, the lawsuit says, many of the boys were 'black out drunk' and 'vomiting', the lawsuit says. January 7, 2021. in Uncategorized. She serves as an Assistant Managing Editor on the 138th Editorial Board and can be reached at mmaharishi@cornellsun.com. On behalf of the parents of Antonio Tsialas, our hazing injury firm has filed a lawsuit against Cornell University, Phi Kappa Psi, and the students who facilitated the hazing that took place before Antonio died. The "dirty rush party" on Oct. 24 coincided with parents weekend. The parents of Antonio Tsialas ’23 — a freshman who was found dead at the base of Fall Creek gorge in October — have filed a lawsuit against Cornell University, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and seven Cornell students. A Cornell University freshman found dead in an upstate New York ravine attended a Phi Kappa Psi hazing and drinking party the night before he went missing, according to a lawsuit filed by his parents. Despite being adequately satisfied with the process of the investigation, Bianchi said they were not pleased that charges wouldn't be brought at all in the case, which was announced in a Facebook post by CUPD Monday night. The 19-year-old student was found dead on Oct. 26, 2019, two days after attending a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity party. Ransom added that the chapter does not comment on any impending litigation. The family of a Cornell University student from South Florida who died last year after a fraternity rush party has filed a lawsuit against the Ivy League school. He was found dead in a gorge two days later. Cornell also agreeded as part of the suit to name a scholarship after Tsialas, and name their anti hazing week after him. The police had previously referred the fraternity to the school's Greek life misconduct process, which resulted in the local chapter having its official status revoked permanently and 31 students being referred to the Judicial Administrator's Office for code of conduct violations. Antonio Tsialas, 18, attended a Phi Kappa Psi "dirty rush" party at Cornell University on Oct. 24. Help keep us reporting with a tax-deductible donation to the Cornell Daily Sun Alumni Association, a non-profit dedicated to aiding The Sun. January 7, 2021. in Uncategorized. Phi Kappa Psi's executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. According to the lawsuit, members of Phi Kappa Psi drove Tsialas from the Robert Purcell Community Center at 8:30 p.m. to the fraternity’s house. Cornell Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina issued the following statement in relation to the settlement. The lawsuit names 11 defendants including Cornell University, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., the chapter adviser and eight other fraternity officers and members. E. MLK Jr Street/The Commons Suite #2 Ithaca, NY 14850. [137] People can also email Cornell Police investigators at cup-inv@cornell.edu or reach out through the Silent Witness Program.”.  102. The party "Christmas in October," featured seven rooms of drinking games, according to a lawsuit. After Tsialas was found, the Cornell University Police Department wrote in an email to the Cornell community that “no foul play is suspected.”. We welcome the resolution of the case and the programmatic actions Cornell is implementing  through which Antonio’s memory will live on at Cornell, helping to promote the safety and well-being of our current and future students and, hopefully, bringing some solace to his family for their enduring loss.”. Phi Kappa Psi’s executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. No charges in death of Cornell freshman hazed at frat party. Following the death of Tsialas, Cornell University President Martha Pollack announced several policy changes governing Greek activities at the Ivy League school. While Cornell University Police did not suspect foul play at the time, the teen’s parents offered a $10,000 reward to anyone with information about his … Bianchi did not know the identities of the women involved and said that the University did not provide him with any names. "We've done everything we can think of to try to get the answer to that question, including offering reward money, taking out ads in the paper, hiring three different private investigators, and we still don't have the answer. Phi Kappa Psi (ΦΚΨ), commonly known as Phi Psi, is an American collegiate social fraternity that was founded by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore in Widow Letterman's home on the campus of Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on February 19, 1852. Latest News Reports Covering the Death of Antonio Tsialas Bianchi, representing Tsialas’ parents in Miami, said Van Houten should … A Cornell University freshman found dead at the bottom of a nearby gorge was the victim of an elaborate hazing that forced fraternity pledges to … The lawsuit filed in Tompkins County, New York, and reported on by The Cornell Sun, details the last night of Tsialas life and provides insight into the alleged Phi Kappa Psi rush practices. CUPD provided the briefing with the sincere hope that it would provide some measure of closure to the family for their tragic loss.". Once Bianchi planned to file the lawsuit, he did not contact the University. Rohe, Granath, Berman, Berkenfeld, Russo and Jacobs have not responded to The Sun’s requests for comment. Freshmen leaving the event left heavily intoxicated, and the lawsuit further alleges that Phi Kappa Psi members did not try to stop Tsialas from leaving or get him back safely to his dorm. The party "Christmas in October," featured seven rooms of drinking games, according to a lawsuit. Whatever happened to Antonio that night, we know that he would not have died if he had not been subjected to egregious hazing and alcohol abuse at the fraternity house. The decision not to move forward with charges against anyone involved was not part of the settlement agreement with the school, Bianchi said. An autopsy report from the Tompkins County Health Department cited multiple traumatic injuries as the cause of Tsialas’ death, according to an email from Bianchi. The Ithaca Voice is an online-only nonprofit news site serving Ithaca and Tompkins County. The Cornell suit was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. The lawsuit additionally named the fraternity’s executive board members Andrew Scherr ’20, William Granath ’21 and Ryan Berman ’21 as defendants. Antonio Tsialas. The parents of Antonio Tsialas ’23 — a freshman who was found dead at the base of Fall Creek gorge in October — have filed a lawsuit against Cornell University, the Phi Kappa Psi … At the house, there were seven rooms in which these activities were conducted, the lawsuit read. ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University and the family of Antonio Tsialas have reached a settlement, ending a nearly year-long lawsuit filed in January over Tsialas' death following a … We believe there are one or more persons out there who know what happened to him, but we don't know. Cornell University freshman Antonio Tsialas, 18, disappeared after attending a 'dirty rush' party hosted by fraternity Phi Kappa Psi on October 24 His … The family has taken out three days of full-page advertisements in The Sun publicizing an award for $10,000 and has hired an Ithaca-based private investigator in their search for information for the Cornell first-year who was found dead in an Ithaca gorge. Following the death of Tsialas, Cornell University President Martha Pollack announced several policy changes governing Greek activities at the Ivy League school. Cornell University police announced Monday that no criminal charges will be filed after an investigation into the 2019 death of a freshman after a fraternity party. Currently, the amount of damages Tsialas’ family is seeking is undetermined. Phi Kappa Psi’s loss of University recognition comes as Cornell is embroiled in a lawsuit with Tsialas’ family over its response to the circumstances surrounding the first-year’s death. The Sun reports that much of Cornell’s findings into the illegal and unauthorized hazing event align with what our firm has alleged in our lawsuit against Cornell University and other parties. “The Cornell University Police continue to actively investigate Antonio Tsialas’s death, We continue to ask anyone who may have information related to the incident to contact us at 607-255-1111. Cornell desired an academic atmosphere in student residence “units” providing appropriate facilities for intellectual and cultural activities and by encouraging student participation in these pursuits. The University has also not contacted Bianchi about the lawsuit, as of Wednesday afternoon. Phi Kappa Psi’s executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. Fraternity members then ferried Tsialas and his fellow freshman to Phi Kappa Psi, according to the lawsuit. Bianchi said it seemed like the wrong conclusion to reach considering the New York statutes that are in place regarding hazing charges and the materials that had been presented to the family as part of the investigation. by admin. In one of the first activities, the lawsuit claimed that sorority women were present in the hazing of the freshmen. Three months later, his parents have sued Cornell University and seven students. Cornell bans Phi Kappa Psi fraternity one year after Antonio Tsialas' death. ", Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. Phi Kappa Psi (ΦΚΨ), commonly known as Phi Psi, is an American collegiate social fraternity that was founded by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore in Widow Letterman's home on the campus of Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on February 19, 1852. The lawsuit names 11 defendants including Cornell University, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, Inc., the chapter adviser and eight other fraternity officers and … No charges in death of Cornell freshman hazed at frat party. A request for comment to DA Matt Van Houten has not been answered so far. The instrument defining Phi Kappa Psi’s possession of the chapter house is the Cornell University Residence Program of 1966 (CURP ’66), which seeks to improve the general social and community welfare of the Cornell community through service to others. ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University and the family of Antonio Tsialas have reached a settlement, ending  a nearly year-long lawsuit filed in January over Tsialas' death following a frat party in Oct. 2019. Family files lawsuit against university, fraternity after Cornell freshman found dead after party - WENY News Tsialas was a freshman in his first semester at Cornell, and the last place he was seen alive was at a "dirty rush" event held by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. “At this time, Cornell University has not been made aware of any legal action by the Tsialas family, and we cannot comment on potential future litigation,” the statement read. The Sun’s request for comment to Cornell police was responded to by Cornell media relations, who provided The Sun with a statement at 11:35 a.m. on Wednesday. Phi Kappa Psi’s executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. Phi Kappa Psi, for instance, sponsored Group House No. Judge Gerald Keene’s ruling against Cornell allows the lawsuit, filed by the family of Cornell University freshman Antonio Tsialas, to move forward. (https://cornellsun.com/2020/01/29/family-of-deceased-freshman-antonio-tsialas-23-sue-cornell-university-phi-kappa-psi-fraternity/). IV d/b/a/ The Irving Literary Society, and developed its parcel on Cornell's West Campus. The Cornell Daily Sun Phi Kappa Psi’s executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. There are over 100 chapters and colonies at accredited four year colleges and universities throughout the United States. There are over 100 chapters and colonies at accredited four year colleges and universities throughout the United States. According to the lawsuit, Tsialas was one of 35 other freshmen invited to attend a rush party at the Phi Kappa Psi frat house last fall. Cornell Indefinitely Revokes Recognition of Phi Kappa Psi Following 2019 Death of Freshman, Antonio Tsialas Posted on September 30, 2020 by TFNLG At the start of the semester, the University indefinitely revoked recognition of Phi Kappa Psi — the fraternity where first-year Antonio Tsialas ’23 was last seen before he was found dead at the base of Fall Creek gorge. Cornell University Police have found no wrongdoing in the death of 18-year-old Antonio Tsialas, who was hazed at a frat party prior to his death. The settlement brings to an end the civil lawsuit brought by the Tsialas family against Cornell, the Phi Kappa Psi local chapter, the Phi Kappa Psi national organization and several officers with the fraternity's Cornell chapter. Cornell Phi Kappa Psi advisor John Jacobs ’90 was another defendant in the suit. Antonio Tsialas, 18, attended a Phi Kappa Psi "dirty rush" party at Cornell University on Oct. 24. Members of Phi Kappa Psi invited “suitable candidates” to the event, the lawsuit read. None of the defendants listed in the lawsuit spoke with the private investigator, Bianchi added. Antonio’s body was found in Ithaca’s Fall Creek Gorge. His death prompted an ongoing University-led investigation, while private investigators hired by the family also investigated. David Bianchi, a Miami-based attorney representing Tsialas’ family, told The Sun that the Cornell University Police Department did not provide any of its findings to him. If you hear something, say something. The body of freshman Antonio Tsialas '23 was found in Fall Creek Gorge on Oct. 26. The findings listed in the lawsuit were from an investigation carried out by a private investigator. EDITORIAL: Lawsuit Filed By Family of Deceased Freshman Antonio Tsialas ’23 Is a Call to Action, Family Hires Private Investigator, Posts $10,000 Award for New Information in Cornell Freshman Antonio Tsialas’ Death. The parents of Antonio Tsialas, the Cornell freshman who was found dead after a frat party in October, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Phi Kappa Psi's executive director, Ronald Ransom II, said via email that the organization was aware of the lawsuit but had not been served and does not discuss pending litigation. By the end of the seven rounds, the lawsuit says, many of the boys were 'black out drunk' and 'vomiting', the lawsuit says. (...) On November 20, 2020, CUPD briefed the Tsialas family on the findings of the investigation and answered questions. Bulletin: Lawsuit involving CORNELL UNIVERSITY, PHI KAPPA PSI FRATERNITY, INC., NEW YORK ALPHA OF Pm KAPPA PSI ASSOCIATION, INC., ANDREW SCHERR, SHANE ROHE, WILLIAM GRANATH, RYAN BERMAN, NOLAN BERKENFELD, PIETRO PALAZZOLO RUSSO, FELIPE HANUCH and JOHN JACOBS . All: Thanks to David Bianchi for providing a copy of the lawsuit. Tsialas' family filed lawsuits against Phi Kappa Psi, Cornell, and individuals involved. Meghna Maharishi is a member of the Class of 2022 in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He was found dead in a gorge two days later. Phi Kappa Psi’s loss of University recognition comes as Cornell is embroiled in a lawsuit with Tsialas’ family over its response to the circumstances surrounding the first-year’s death. Launched in June 2014, it is a free and independent source of journalism. Call the newsroom at (607) 391-0327 or email tips@ithacavoice.com. 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