Cassidy, Casey, McBath, Stivers Reintroduce Legislation to Prevent Hazing on College Campuses
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), and U.S. Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) re-introduced the End All Hazing Act to provide parents and prospective students with better information about universities’ histories of hazing in an effort to increase transparency and accountability in hazing nationwide.
The bill would require colleges and universities to post on their websites instances of hazing that took place on campus or within a student organization. Providing this information would improve transparency and assist students in making the best choices for their futures.
“Prospective students and their families should feel safe no matter what school they choose,” said Dr. Cassidy. “By increasing transparency, the bill will ensure that hazing is never swept under the rug.”
“Hazing is a horrendous act that has absolutely no place in our society. The bipartisan End All Hazing Act is a critical tool that would provide much needed transparency to students and parents about past instances of hazing on college campuses to help prevent families from losing loved ones,” said Senator Casey.
“We have a duty to ensure that schools are a safe environment for our students. The impacts that hazing has on young people across our country are heartbreaking and unacceptable,” said McBath. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation strengthens important national standards for data collection and reporting hazing instances so that students and their families are able to make the best decision to support their educational wellbeing. This step we are taking together represents a vital one to protect the health, safety, and success of students.”
“Hazing is an unacceptable and dangerous practice that does not have a place in any student organization that’s mission is to help young people learn and develop,” Stivers said. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan, bicameral coalition to continue to educate, inform, and ensure that students have the safe learning environment they deserve.”
Cassidy first introduced the End All Hazing Act in October 2019 as a result of the death of Max Gruver, an LSU student who died due to hazing at a fraternity event in September 2017. Cassidy met with Steve Gruver, Max’s father, and other parents of hazing victims at the time the legislation was introduced.
The Gruver family launched the Max Gruver Foundation, a non-profit working to end hazing. The foundation reports that more than 200 students have died as a result of hazing.
“Until students and young adults understand what hazing is, the dangers of hazing and it is against the law it will continue to exist,” said the Gruvers. “We need the End All Hazing Act to educate on the dangers of hazing, expose the groups that haze and be the catalyst to end all hazing.”
“Hazing is just an acceptable word for ‘abuse’. We need the End All Hazing Act so that parents and students can make informed decisions about the organizations students would like to join. Transparency along with full enforcement of the laws in place will create an awareness and deterrence of the reckless and dangerous behaviors that we see time and time again in so many college organizations. Hazing is destructive, dangerous, and not the way to start a friendship. It has no place in any setting and should be recognized for the crime that it is,” said Jim and Evelyn Piazza, parents of Tim Piazza, who died due to hazing at Penn State University on February 4, 2017.
“We have a culture where hazing is accepted and sometimes even expected. The way to change that culture is to stop thinking of the small “harmless” acts of hazing as though they are benign. They are simply primers in the hazing process and lead to the degrading, dangerous, and sometimes deadly acts of hazing. Changing this culture begins with changing the laws,” said Kathleen Wiant, mother of Collin Wiant, who died due to hazing at Ohio University on November 12, 2018.
“Hazing is too polite a term for what is actually occurring to far too many children. Let's call it what it really is...TORTURE! Children just out of high school being emotionally humiliated, physically beaten, sodomized, deprived of sleep for 89 HOURS and forced to consume lethal amounts of alcohol. The people ordering this TORTURE are also young adults with poor judgment. They need guidance, structure, and accountability. They need the End All Hazing Act or we'll continue to see more children needlessly die,” said Rich and Maille Braham, parents of Marquise Braham, who died due to hazing at Penn State – Altoona on March 14, 2014.
“Parents should not send their child to college and not have them come home because of senseless hazing. It can cause emotional and physical harm and, in some cases, kill. Hazing is perceived as the norm that MUST stop NOW. The End All Hazing Act will deter individuals from hazing and hold organizations accountable. Until these laws are passed, individuals will continue to "push the limits" because they feel they can get away with it or pay minor consequences. We must act now before another tragedy occurs,” said Lianne Kowiak, mother of Harrison Kowiak, who died due to hazing at Lenoir-Rhyne University on November 18, 2008.
“No parent should ever have to go back and gather the child’s belongings from their dorm just one week after dropping them off, the week they turn 18, and before they ever had a chance to walk into their first freshman college class, because they were killed in a hazing incident on their bid night. The potential of possibly being kicked out of their fraternity, suspended from school or even community service hours is not a harsh enough punishment for these types of actions for those participating in something that has the potential to take somebody’s life and destroy so many more lives. We need the End All Hazing Act in order to start changing a culture that thinks this behavior is acceptable or has very little consequences. There needs to be severe consequences for all hazing,” said Debbie Debrick, mother of Dalton Debrick, who died due to hazing at Texas Tech University on August 24, 2014.
“Hazing is a critical issue facing campuses across all sports and student organizations. With more than half of college students exposed to hazing before reaching college, we applaud the bipartisan introduction of the End All Hazing Act to address and eradicate this issue. We must bring more transparency, accountability, and improved safety to campuses nationwide. We will continue to advocate for this bill to become law and for other solutions that can help bring an end to hazing,” said Jud Horras, President and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference.
“The entire higher education community must work together to ensure far greater accountability for perpetrators and require far more transparency when hazing occurs on college campuses. Our organizations applaud the re-introduction of the End All Hazing Act and Panhellenic women across the country will continue to advocate for its passage as an urgent piece of legislation critical to the fight against hazing,” said Dani Weatherford, CEO of the National Panhellenic Conference.
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