The past month has seen a string of high-profile deaths on college campuses related to hazing. Universities in Georgia and around the country are looking for ways to prevent harm to students in the future. Parents of students who have died have been pushing for anti-hazing laws at the state and federal level, and some lawmakers are beginning to take notice.
Some colleges and universities have taken the step to ban the organizations on their campuses, including both fraternities and sororities. However, some parents who have lost children to hazing believe that this is not a permanent solution. Some institutions have suspended fraternities on a temporary basis in the wake of an adverse hazing incident only to reinstate them later.
Parent advocates seem to agree that stricter laws are necessary to combat hazing but differ in the types of legislation that they endorse. Some are pushing for hazing to become a felony at the state level, while others want federal regulations requiring universities to be more transparent about each fraternity’s history of hazing allegations.
Needless to say, the fraternities themselves have a stake in this matter. The correct approach to addressing the issue of hazing has stirred up some controversy. Sixty-five fraternities belong to the North American Interfraternity Conference, which has advocated for stricter anti-hazing laws and a ban on hard liquor in fraternity houses. Nevertheless, at least one member fraternity felt that the advocacy group’s efforts did not go far enough, making a public break from the organization as a result.
While it is unclear what the consequences for hazing will be in the future, it seems likely that there will be consequences, particularly when someone comes to harm as a result. Students concerned about possible criminal charges related to hazing may wish to consult an attorney.