On Monday, July 26th Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a new initiative to combat hazing at Ohio universities. The announcement was made in the presence of the Inter-University Council of Ohio Council of Presidents at the Ohio Statehouse.
University presidents that attended the event include Ohio State University's Kristina Johnson, Bowling Green State university’s Rodney Rogers, and Miami university’s Gregory Crawford.
This initiative expands on Collin’s Law which DeWine signed earlier this month. It was named after Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old who died as a consequence of hazing at Ohio University in 2018. The purpose of these new laws are to increase the penalties for hazing while also enforcing stronger regulations.
Shari and Cory Foltz, parents of Stone Foltz, were also in attendance. Foltz died earlier this year as a result of hazing at Bowling Green State University. He died from alcohol poisoning after an alleged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity initiation event. Foltz along with a few other new members of the fraternity, many underage, were forced to consume 750 ml of liquor.
“It is alleged that Stone Foltz consumed all or nearly all of the contents of his bottle and then was taken home by several members, including his big brother Jacob Krinn,” said Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson.
The Foltz’s stand in support of the new Anti-Hazing Principles as they are a step in the right direction. But it is important to note that this is just the starting point. There is still so much work left to do as society still needs to overcome and undo the culture of hazing.
“To ensure no other student is injured or dies from hazing, IUC schools must establish rules that prevent hazing and hold people and institutions accountable. Zero tolerance means one strike and you’re out. It’s too late to save our son Stone’s life, but these policies will save the lives of other students who deserve to live and learn in an environment where abuse is unacceptable.”
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