July 26, 2021
Inter-University Council of Ohio Introduces Anti-Hazing Principles
[Columbus]: The Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) Council of Presidents today introduced a set of principles designed to eradicate hazing at Ohio’s 14 public universities. The anti-hazing principles include a zero-tolerance approach that imposes severe sanctions against student organizations and individuals that engage in hazing along with other measures.
“To stop hazing, we must change the culture that sees it as acceptable behavior,” said IUC President & CEO Bruce Johnson. “The IUC Council of Presidents’ Anti-Hazing Principles send a powerful message that Ohio’s public universities will drive that culture change toward our shared goal of eliminating hazing.”
Hazing is an all-too-common problem. At the college level, 55 percent of students who participate in clubs, teams and organizations are hazed but do not report it. Hazing is only reported five percent of the time.
To address the issue, the IUC is also in strong support of Senate Bill 126, anti-hazing legislation introduced by State Senators Theresa Gavarone and Stephanie Kunze. Senate Bill 126 as enacted will expand the definition of hazing, create a variety of new criminal hazing offenses and impose stiffer penalties.
Creation of the Anti-Hazing Principles and passage of Senate Bill 126 were spurred by the deaths of Collin Wiant at Ohio University in 2018 and Stone Foltz at Bowling Green State University in 2021.
“By adopting these principles, Ohio’s public universities are honoring the memory of Collin and Stone by ensuring we do everything needed to prevent hazing,” said Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D., President of Bowling Green State University. “Our shared principles represent an important step toward ensuring the health and safety of our students.”
“Every year, college students across the nation are injured or killed during events associated with hazing,” said Hugh Sherman, PhD, President of Ohio University. “While we have worked diligently to address this pervasive problem in myriad ways, the IUC principles help to reinforce the message that this anti-social, bullying behavior will not be tolerated at our universities.”
In addition to the zero-tolerance approach, the Anti-Hazing Principles include:
- Automatic dismissal of any student convicted of criminal hazing and debarment from attending any other Ohio public university in accordance with the law.
- Working with law enforcement as a vital partner in combating hazing.
- Strengthening the role of advisors to student organizations.
- Educating families and alumni on hazing, including where and how to report it.
- Improving the substance and delivery of anti-hazing education for students.
- Providing data on hazing violations to inform students’ decisions about joining organizations.
- Offering a personal outlet for reporting hazing.
The Anti-Hazing Principles also provide measures that apply only to fraternities and sororities, including review of recruiting policies, strengthening oversight of the organizations by parents and affiliates, and annual reviews to ensure the organizations are operating safely.
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The Inter-University Council is a voluntary educational association of Ohio’s public universities.
Bruce Johnson, President & CEO
Inter-University Council of Ohio