Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian
“With the increase of hazing that we are hearing in the news I [thought] it [House Bill 310] would be a good bill to speak for,” said SGA Chief Policy Officer Eli Smith.
Recently, Smith testified for House Bill 310 to the State House.
The bill was introduced by District 16 representative Dave Greensoan. It is an anti-hazing and anti-bullying act that will change the way hazing and bullying are defined as well as set harsher punishments for those who participate.
This is a statewide bill that, once passed, will enforce change in all high schools and colleges in Ohio.
Many people associate hazing with college. However, according to the University of Dayton, about 1.5 million high school students experience some sort of hazing each year and 47 percent of students enter college having already been hazed in high school.
Additionally, according to Hazing Prevention, 71 percent of students who experience hazing develop negative side effects such as sleep deprivation, mental and/or emotional instability and disinterest of being part of a club or organization.
“I think [WSU is] already on the right path, [House Bill 310] will just further prevent hazing down the road,” said Smith.
Although hazing is not as big of a problem at WSU as it is at other colleges in the area, House Bill 310 will further prevent hazing from happening and emphasize the consequences of participating in hazing.
According to Athens News, eight fraternities are under investigation at Ohio University due to hazing allegations. The fraternities under investigation are Acacia, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi. Sigma Chi and Theta Chi.
During the investigation all eight chapters are suspended and must withhold all activity.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, eighteen members of Miami University’s Delta Tau Delta chapter are facing misdemeanor charges for hazing allegations and the entire chapter is suspended until 2034.
“I think that it will do nothing but help us. I think that it will give us more incentive to educate our members,” said President of Delta Zeta Beth Metcalf.
Metcalf hopes that House Bill 310 will bring awareness to the fact that hazing happens in other organizations besides Greek life, such as sports and theater, and that the bill will bring a stop to hazing across all campuses.