Bipartisan Anti-Hazing Legislation Introduced in Congress
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle co-introduced the Stop Campus Hazing Act.
- The proposal would force colleges and universities to publicly share confirmed hazing incidents.
- Most hazing incidents, however, likely go unreported.
- Colleges and universities must also establish hazing prevention programs to avoid future incidents.
Colleges and universities would be forced to disclose hazing incidents to the general public under the proposed Stop Campus Hazing Act.
The bipartisan, bicameral bill aims to crack down on instances of hazing on college campuses, which occur when someone coerces or forces new members of a student organization to perform risky or unsafe tasks for acceptance.
While most hazing incidents likely go unreported, the goal of the Stop Campus Hazing Act is to provide transparency into which schools and student organizations take part in hazing at high rates.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana co-introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate. Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia and Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina co-introduced it in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Unfortunately, hazing is a dangerous — and at times deadly — reality, and we must work to end it," Klobuchar said in a joint statement with Cassidy. "Our bipartisan legislation will improve hazing prevention efforts on college campuses as well as reporting of hazing incidents to make sure we have the information we need to stop this abuse and keep students safe."
The Stop Campus Hazing Act would force new reporting guidelines for all colleges and universities that accept and distribute federal financial aid.
Schools will be required to publish a Campus Hazing Transparency Report. The report will include violations related to hazing, the names of organizations where there was a confirmed instance of hazing, when the incident occurred, and where it took place, according to the bill's text.
The report will not, however, include any information with personally identifying information.
If the bill passes, schools must update their report at least twice a year.
The Stop Campus Hazing Act adds that institutions must have a "comprehensive program to prevent hazing." That includes providing information to students on how to report hazing, the process for investigating hazing, and educating students on bystander intervention techniques.
The proposal comes as hazing-related deaths continue to occur across the U.S.
"Hazing on college campuses has taken the lives of too many shining stars. Our district knows the pain of losing a son, and friend, to hazing," Duncan said in the statement. "If we stand united, we can put an end to hazing and ensure no one is subjected to the horrific pain it brings."
Since 2000, at least 105 college students in the U.S. have died in hazing incidents, according to the Hank Nuwer Unofficial Hazing Clearinghouse. Approximately 76% of hazing-related deaths were associated with fraternities, and more than half involved alcohol.