COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill Tuesday designed to prevent hazing at campuses in Ohio.
The anti-hazing bill, known as Collin's Law, passed the Ohio Senate and House last month.
The bill takes several measures to combat hazing, 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.
The bill was introduced following the 2018 death of Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old man who was killed in a hazing incident at Ohio University.
"Collin was a protector by nature," said Kathleen Wiant, Collin's mother. "I can think of no better way to honor him than a law in his name, designed for the sole purpose of protecting others."
The bill also honors 20-year-old Stone Foltz, a Bowling Green State University sophomore who was killed following an alleged hazing ritual at a fraternity party in March.
"Collin's Law is a step in the right direction, but we are not done. We will continue to fight," said Shari Foltz, Stone's mother.