Colleges and universities would have to report more information about hazing incidents under a new Senate bill formally announced this week that has bipartisan backing and support in the House of Representatives.
The Stop Campus Hazing Act is co-sponsored by Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, and Louisiana senator Dr. Bill Cassidy, the top Republican on the Senate education committee. It would require higher education institutions to educate students about the dangers of hazing and give parents and students more information about which on-campus student organizations have a history of hazing incidents. Colleges also would have to list hazing incidents in their annual crime reports, which currently isn’t required.
“When parents send their kids away to college, they expect they will get a good education and make new friends,” Klobuchar said in a news release. “Unfortunately, hazing is a dangerous—and at times deadly—reality, and we must work to end it. Our bipartisan legislation will improve hazing prevention efforts on college campuses as well as reporting of hazing incidents to make sure we have the information we need to stop this abuse and keep students safe.”
Similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives as well.
Dr. Cassidy, Klobuchar and other lawmakers have tried in previous sessions of Congress to address hazing on college campuses and require institutions to report incidents. Klobuchar told USA Today that backers of the legislation have “actually made headway” and she’s hopeful about the bill’s chances.
Parents of hazing victims support the legislation, according to the release, along with the Clery Center, a nonprofit that’s been pushing for federal hazing legislation for nearly a decade. A number of Greek life organizations, including the National Panhellenic Conference and the North American Interfraternity Conference, which represent the majority of college sororities and fraternities, also support the bill.
“Students should feel safe no matter what school they choose,” Dr. Cassidy said in the release. “The Stop Campus Hazing Act improves transparency and ensures hazing is never ignored.”