Raider Hands Don’t Haze | Letter to the Editor
Dear Wright State Community,
The alleged hazing incidents at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) earlier this March are heartbreaking. I want to extend my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Stone Foltz, the undergraduate student that died at BGSU and Adam Oakes, the undergraduate student that died at VCU.
Hazing is a serious issue on college campuses with potentially deadly consequences. It doesn’t only happen in Greek life; it also occurs in sports teams, clubs and honor societies. Colleges and universities need to take action to ensure hazing is removed everywhere. Many people see two hazing types where at “best” hazing incidents end in minor injury, illness or psychological distress for a few individuals. At worst, it ends in a brother’s death, the effects of which cause devastation and pain for plenty of people.
Some people don’t think of the ultimate consequence of hazing. Little acts of hazing go unchecked and become big acts of hazing. These consequential acts then get out of control and result in the loss of a life, destroying many lives. Think of the girlfriend that loses a boyfriend, the roommates, and classmates who lose a friend, the fraternity brothers who weren’t part of the hazing that lose a brother, the little boy or girl who loses a sibling, the parents who lose a child. And for what?
No “tradition” or “power trip” is worth the life of another man. This concept betrays the very idea of brotherhood: to love and protect.
At Wright State, we strive to educate our members on the severe consequences that hazing can have. It has no place on our campus. As president of the Interfraternity Council, I feel that hazing goes against all promises and obligations made by fraternity men and must be eradicated to protect our members and our organizations. People join Greek life to find friendship and belonging, which should never end in tragedy.
We must stay vigilant in the fight against hazing. We must continue to look for the red flags in our organizations. We must continue to hold our members accountable to keep our organizations safe.
I encourage you to call or write your state senator to express your support for Senate Bill 126, Collin’s Law. Collin’s Law is a piece of anti-hazing legislation named after Collin Wiant, who died at a hazing incident at Ohio University in 2018.
This legislation will mandate universities to prohibit hazing by requiring universities to create a public database that lists any hazing violations within the last five years and requires all students to attend an educational program on hazing before joining any student organization.
In addition to that, the bill will increase the criminal penalties for hazing. Currently, hazing in Ohio is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. This bill would increase that to a second-degree misdemeanor for general hazing and a third-degree felony for hazing that involves drugs or alcohol.
We should never have to hear of such a tragedy again; Collin’s Law will help make sure of that here in Ohio.
Connor Algren, president
Connor Algren is the Interfraternity Council president at Wright State University.