Hazing—any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate—continues to feature in the American Greek life pledging process across numerous U.S. universities. Unfortunately, there has been a hazing death on a U.S. college campus every year since 1970. In response, states and universities have put in place rules and regulations to prevent hazing, with state lawmakers introducing various pieces of anti-hazing legislation.
Georgia Anti-Hazing Legislation Enacted
In early 2021, the Georgia legislature passed Senate Bill 85, the Max Gruver Act. The law expanded the definition of hazing to include minors as a subject of hazing. The law permits the state Attorney General to bring civil actions against certain organizations regarding hazing incidents. The law also requires educational institutions to make mandatory reports of hazing-related violations. The law aims to pressure schools to ensure that hazing incidents are accurately dealt with and alerted to the proper authority.
New York Anti-Hazing Bill Stalled
New York has considered a variety of bills against hazing. One is Assembly Bill 3443, which Linda B. Rosenthal of the 67th District introduced. The bill would provide hazing offenses and anti-hazing educational programs at educational institutions. As of December 2022, the bill stands in the Assembly’s Education Committee. The act would take effect on July 1 of the following year if passed.
Indiana Bill Did Not Advance in 2022
House Bill 1403 was introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives in January 2022, which would require that postsecondary institutions and national organizations that sponsor or recognize a local organization that includes students of a postsecondary educational institution develop and conduct an educational program on hazing. The bill also requires postsecondary educational institutions and local affiliate organizations to report an allegation of hazing involving serious bodily injury or a significant risk of serious bodily injury no later than 72 hours after learning of the allegation. The bill was referred to the Committee on Education.
Washington Anti-Hazing Bill Signed Into Law
Washington enacted House Bill 1751 in early 2022 to require public and private institutions of higher education to provide students with an educational program on hazing and the dangers of creating an environment where hazing is acceptable. Those programs must provide information regarding hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the institution’s policy on hazing. The bill was passed in both the House and Senate and signed by the governor on March 30, 2022.
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