Lobbying for anti-hazing legislation

An Ohio mother speaks out on the BGSU hazing incident that hits close to home
An Ohio mother speaks out on the BGSU hazing incident that hits close to home
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 3:33 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Sunday afternoon, the North American Interfraternity Conference, the national trade association of college fraternities, released a statement about the alleged alcohol-related hazing incident at BGSU on March 4th that left sophomore Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) pledge Stone Foltz hospitalized in critical condition.

According to an update from the Foltz family attorney, Sean Alto, 20-year old Foltz underwent the process of organ donation and died Sunday evening.

While the circumstances surrounding this incident at Bowling Green State is still under investigation, we must be clear that hazing is a betrayal of the fraternal vows to which every member commits and has no place on campus. When hard alcohol is added to the mix, it is a formula for tragedy.

The North American Interfraternity Conference is partnered with Kathleen Wiant whose son Collin died in 2018 at Ohio University and other parents of hazing victims to educate about hazing and advocate for stronger laws. Our efforts include advancing the END ALL Hazing Act in Congress and making hazing a felony through state legislation including Collin’s Law now before the Ohio State Legislature.

North American Interfraternity Conference

Kathleen Wiant spoke with 13abc regarding the situation at BGSU. Her husband, Wade Wiant, was in PIKE, the same fraternity Foltz was pledging, and this is another story similar to the loss of their son that hits especially close to home.

“Pi Kappa Alpha is my fraternity at Ohio University I’m just extremely, disappointed is probably an understatement in that organization,” says Wade.

“The ripple effect of a loss like this is unimaginable. That’s what I’ve learned when I’ve seen all the people its affected by Collin’s death and Stone’s tragedy,” says Kathleen. “We’ve made some great progress working with police, prosecutors, university officials, to make legislation we feel like will quickly move to the governor’s desk.”

Wiant also spoke at a TEDx event this year about The Dangers of Hazing and Bullying.

In it, she explains how what can seem like more innocent pranks or favors when students join campus organizations can escalate over time to cruel bullying, and potentially life-threatening hazing practices.

“If they think they’re in a bad situation, chances are they probably right,” adds Wade. “You’re empowered to walk away, Greek Life is about brotherhood and bonding and sisterhood for life and there is nothing about these rituals that contribute to that.”

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