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Anti-hazing efforts underway at Ohio universities as spring classes begin

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The Ohio State University
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Ohio State University

With the start of the new spring semester at universities across the state this month, students and faculty alike will be warned of the dangers of hazing under Ohio's anti-hazing legislation, Collin’s Law.

Collin’s Law requires faculty, staff and other employees at universities to report incidents of hazing, under threat of criminal offense.

At The Ohio State University, a comprehensive anti-hazing policy is now in effect. Students, faculty and staff received their notice this week to complete virtual training, which will be an annual requirement.

Students, faculty and staff at Otterbein University received a training module designed to tackle new appropriate and inappropriate expectations for students new to Greek organizations.

And in order for students to be in compliance with the student code of conduct, they too are required to report hazing, which is often risky or humiliating behavior required of students to initiate membership in fraternities and sororities. Those students could receive amnesty.

The bill is named "Collin's Law" in honor of Dublin resident Collin Wiant, who died as an Ohio University freshman in November 2018 after collapsing at an off-campus house. A toxicology report showed Wiant died of asphyxiation caused by nitrous oxide ingestion.

Several people were convicted in connection to Wiant's death on charges including hazing and drug possession.

More resources are available at stophazing.org.

Renee Fox is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Fox joined the WOSU newsroom from the Tribune Chronicle/Vindicator in the Youngstown area, where she’d been a reporter since 2014. Contact Renee at renee.fox@wosu.org.