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Collin’s Law going into effect starting next week

Hazing will be considered a felony in Ohio
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:36 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Collin’s Law will be enforced starting October 7, meaning hazing will now be considered a felony in Ohio.

The law increases criminal penalties for hazing activities such as forced drug or alcohol consumption. The name refers to Colin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died after he was hazed in 2018.

According to information from the state of Ohio, Collin’s Law makes a number of changes, including but not limited to:

  • Expands the definition of hazing and specifies that hazing may include “coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse.”
  • Increases the penalty for hazing to a 2nd degree misdemeanor.
  • Expands the list of officials required to report hazing.
  • Widens the scope of those who can be punished for participating in or permitting hazing. (A violation that results in serious harm is a 3rd degree felony.)
  • Requires that those aware of hazing report it to authorities, with penalties up to a 1st degree misdemeanor for failing to do so.
  • Requires the Ohio Department of Higher Education to implement a statewide anti-hazing plan.
  • Requires staff and volunteers at colleges and universities to undergo training on hazing awareness and prevention.

Attention was brought to the law again this year after the hazing death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz, who was forced to drink a handle of liquor as part of a Pi Kappa Alpha hazing ritual in March.

The BGSU students involved are now being criminally charged in connection with his death.

Governor Mike DeWine said Collin’s Law is about accountability and changing the culture on college campuses.

“Simply put -- we cannot tolerate hazing,” Governor DeWine said in his remarks before signing the bill. “I believe Collin’s Law will help change the culture surrounding hazing and save lives.”

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