University hazing incidents published under new law

Local

The Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law is now in effect in Pennsylvania. It comes almost two years after the Penn State student died after a hazing incident. 

The death of Piazza and charges against more than 20 fraternity brothers has continued to spark national headlines. It also prompted changes. This week was the deadline for all Pennsylvania colleges and universities to publish hazing reports.

“I think it’s a good thing, so they know what to expect,” said Cory Hartman, who will be attending Shippensburg University next year.

The law requires every higher education institution in the state to report hazing incidents from the last five years.

“You should always find the background around the college and everything, so it does help with the safety and the concerns, so parents could be less worried,” said Joshua Santos, who will also be attending Shippensburg next year.

The goal is for prospective and current students to make educated choices about where they attend school and what they join.

“It would influence me to a certain extent, depending on what the occasion is,” said Santos.

It’s also an incentive for colleges to put more effort into stopping the problem.

“If they have a report that shows that there’s a lot, then they know that weighs against them,” said state Sen. Jake Corman, the prime sponsor of the bill.

The law makes hazing a felony if it results in injury or death.

“You have the personal responsibility yourself not to get involved in that,” said Hartman.

Penn State Harrisburg had two reports, including one in which new members had restrictions on who they could speak to, intending to cause embarrassment. Another implemented a uniform policy. 

Shippensburg had five: one with Greek life, three with rugby clubs and another with the softball team. 

Millersville University and Harrisburg University reported zero incidents. 

“Clearly, this is the most progressive bill we’ve seen as far as comprehensive reform in this area, and I know the Piazza family is going nationwide with this,” Corman said.

Schools are required to update the information twice a year.

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