Ohio’s Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has launched a statewide anti-hazing law to prevent hazing incidents on university campuses.
The new law is named after late 18-year-old Ohio University freshman Collin Wiant who died in 2018 after inhaling a canister of nitrous oxide during a hazing incident at a fraternity party. Collin’s Law makes hazing incidents, especially those involving drugs and alcohol, into felonies resulting in prison time.
Signed by Gov. Mike DeWine on July 6, the law affecting higher education was developed by representatives from Ohio colleges and universities and staff from Attorney General Dave Yost’s office.
“There is no tolerance for hazing in Ohio,” Gov. DeWine said. “I am hopeful that this new law will go a long way toward eliminating all forms of hazing on Ohio’s campuses.”
‘Collin’s Law’ Provisions
The push for Collin’s Law gathered momentum after Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz died as a result of suspected fraternity hazing at an off-campus Phi Kappa Alpha party.
The regulation includes a combination of increased penalties, comprehensive reporting, and adequate training to highlight the severity of hazing accidents.
Under the new law, students, staff, and college organizations across the state will need to undergo mandatory hazing prevention training. The plan has put in place an anti-hazing framework and additional anti-hazing policy for campuses to expand their efforts at combating hazing accidents in the future.
“Acts of hazing have occurred at campuses across the United States for too long, leaving physical, psychological, and emotional scars that seldom heal quickly,” ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “Taking important steps necessary to bring an end to hazing must be an Ohio priority.”