COLUMBUS— The Ohio Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 126, sponsored by State Senators Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), preventing the dangers of hazing at colleges and universities across Ohio.
Senate Bill 126 is in honor of Collin Wiant, of Franklin County, who lost his life to hazing in 2018 at Ohio University, and Stone Foltz, of Delaware County, who lost his life in March as a result of hazing at Bowling Green State University.
The bill, introduced as "Collin's Law" last General Assembly, increases penalties for those who participate in hazing and for those who have knowledge of hazing and do not report it to law enforcement.
"As lawmakers, we must hold our campus cultures to a higher standard, ensuring there is both accountability and transparency so that students have a safe environment to not only receive a quality education, but to develop the social skills to become leaders in our communities," said Kunze.
Senate Bill 126 requires the Ohio Chancellor of Higher Education to develop a statewide educational plan for preventing hazing at institutions of higher education. The institutions are also required to provide anti-hazing training to students and faculty.
Additionally, the bill increases transparency and paints a clear picture of prior hazing offenses for parents, as their children are choosing an organization to join. Institutions of higher education would be required to maintain a record of all reported hazing violations and post the report on a publicly accessible website.
“For too long, universities have failed to reign in the horrific hazing incidents that are taking place on their campuses, and parents are demanding action,” said Gavarone. “Dangerous hazing rituals not only hurt students socially and in the classroom, but have life threatening consequences."