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Parents, Greek Leaders Create Anti-Hazing Campaign

September 11, 2018
 
 

A group of parents of students who died in hazing rituals is working with national Greek life organizations on a national campaign designed to press state lawmakers to strengthen anti-hazing laws.

Among the proposed measures: making it a felony to force students to consume alcohol during an initiation.

Four sets of parents whose children died from hazing-related incidents are working with the North-American Interfraternity Conference and the National Panhellenic Conference.

In an emotional conference call Monday, parents described their initial reluctance to work with the organizations, saying that once the groups figured out that parents didn’t want to abolish the fraternity and sorority system, they were able to collaborate.

“While we may seem like strange bedfellows, we all want the same thing -- to end hazing, so other parents don’t have to experience what we have,” said Jim Piazza, whose son Tim died at Penn State University in 2017 after being forced to drink 80-proof liquor until he could not stand and falling down a flight of stairs.

The parents on Monday said they were confident that telling their stories would help “change the hearts and minds” of those who perpetuate hazing: Greek life members.

The coalition intends to lobby for the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing, or REACH, Act at the federal level, which would force institutions to report hazing acts.

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