Ohio universities report dozens of hazing cases, entire football team on probation
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s an emotional time for many parents who just sent their children off to college for the first time this year.
For two Ohio families, it became a nightmare when hazing cut their sons’ lives short.
19 Investigates looked into new hazing reports just released under Collin’s Law, an anti-hazing law that aims to save lives.
Under the law, universities and colleges statewide had to publish reports of hazing starting this January and again in August.
19 Investigates found dozens of cases statewide and one entire football team still on probation due to hazing.
Collin’s Law is named after Collin Wiant, 18, who started his freshman year at Ohio University and never made it back home.
Collin died after inhaling nitrous oxide during hazing at a frat house five years ago.
His parents fought to protect other students and helped create Collin’s Law.
The new law makes hazing violations second-degree misdemeanors and a third-degree felony if it involves alcohol, drugs, or physical harm.
“I just keep thinking if Collin had received education about hazing like students now will receive under Collins Law, that he would be alive today,” said Kathleen Wiant, Collin’s mom.
The family of Stone Foltz was also there at the bill signing in July of 2021.
The Bowling Green sophomore consumed almost of 40 shots of alcohol during hazing at a fraternity and died in 2021.
“We made a promise to Stone on his hospital bed that we would keep fighting, that we would allow this to happen again to anyone. No parent should have to go through this, any family and we will put a stop to it,” said Shari Foltz, Stone’s mom.
College campuses in Ohio now must provide anti-hazing training and post hazing reports online going back five years.
19 Investigates pored through Collin’s Law anti-hazing reports at 20 universities and colleges across the state.
We found about 100 hazing cases reported in total from 2018 to 2023.
Here’s a look at some of them:
-Ohio State University (Ohio’s largest university): 43 hazing cases.
-Ohio University: 12 cases.
-Bowling Green University: 10 cases.
-University of Akron: four cases.
-University of Toledo: three cases.
-University of Cincinnati: three cases.
-Cleveland State University: two cases.
-Kent State University: zero cases.
We also found Wittenberg University placed its entire football team on disciplinary probation earlier this year through December.
We reached out to Wittenberg University to find out more about the hazing incident involving the football team, but we haven’t heard back.
Keep in mind, these numbers may be an undercount because not all hazing cases are reported.
Colleges and universities will be required to report any hazing cases again in January.
You can learn more about the Collin Wiant Foundation here.
Collin’s Law reports and anti-hazing statements and policies:
Hazing prevention is important, life-saving work. In addition to completing required training, members of the Ashland University community are encouraged to regularly review Ohio’s Hazing Laws (2903.31, 2903.311, and 3719.011), Ashland University’s Hazing Prevention Policy, outlined below, and report any suspected acts of hazing immediately.
All forms of hazing, on or off campus, by any individual student, or Baldwin Wallace University registered student club or organization, faculty or staff, or any of its members or alumni are prohibited. Students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect, and no individual may perform an act that is likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any other person within the Baldwin Wallace University community. The University will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing as outlined in this policy.
BGSU seeks to promote a safe environment where members of our learning community may participate in experiences and activities without compromising their health, well-being, dignity and/or rights. Hazing can cause irreparable harm to victims, victims’ families, and the University community. BGSU has zero tolerance for any form of hazing.
Hazing is adverse to the culture, mission, and values of Case Western Reserve University. The university prohibits hazing, and the support thereof, by all persons as defined in this policy and applicable laws and investigates and responds to all reports of hazing. Students, student organizations, and other student groups, including other individuals associated with those organizations, are prohibited from hazing and failing to report hazing. Advisors acting in an official and professional capacity, or persons acting in an advisory role, are prohibited from permitting hazing and are required to timely report knowledge or suspicion of hazing activity.
Read more here.
Cleveland State University prohibits hazing as defined in this policy and will not tolerate a campus culture which allows hazing to occur. The university will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing as outlined in this policy and assign appropriate sanctions to ensure the health and well-being of CSU community members.
Tri-C believes hazing has no place in higher education and encourages all members of our community to report any instances of hazing they witness, have knowledge of, or suspect to law enforcement and to the College’s Office of Student Affairs. Tri-C prohibits hazing as part of its Student Code of Conduct and will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing it receives.
Hazing is antithetical to the mission and values of JCU because it harms, degrades, and dehumanizes members of the John Carroll community. Therefore, hazing in any form is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
As part of its commitment to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment for the University community and cultivating a culture that fosters respect for the dignity and rights of all its members, the University does not tolerate hazing activities by any members of the university community.
Hazing violates the Miami University Code of Student Conduct, Ohio state law, and the policies of every fraternity and sorority recognized by Miami University. Violation of these policies and laws can be enforced only when reported to the university.
Oberlin College prohibits hazing of any member of the College community by campus organizations, clubs, intercollegiate or intramural athletic teams, students, employees, and volunteers. Oberlin College prioritizes inclusion, respect, and integrity in its campus community and recognizes that hazing is antithetical to these values. Hazing creates an unsafe environment that presents the risk of mental and physical harm, which is contrary to the principles of community Oberlin College upholds.
Ohio University seeks to promote a safe environment where students may participate in activities and organizations without compromising their health, safety, or welfare. It is therefore the University’s policy that hazing is prohibited.
Prevention of hazing is the responsibility of every member of the University community. Each organization, as well as each individual, must accept the personal obligation to uphold the basic community values of citizenship, civility, character, community, and commitment. It is the university’s belief that true human development will best occur in an atmosphere that promotes social and ethical responsibility.
As part of The Ohio State University’s commitment to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment, members of the university community have the right to be free from all forms of hazing, which impede the realization of the university’s vision of being a 21st-century public, land grant, research, urban, and community-engaged institution. The university has zero tolerance for hazing in any form and all members of the university community must conduct themselves in a manner that supports an environment free from hazing.
Read the updated August report here.
The University of Akron prohibits hazing as defined by Ohio Revised Code 2903.31 and the University Code of Student Conduct. The University will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing. Under the Ohio Revised Code hazing is defined as “doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Revised Code.”
Read the updated August report here.
“Hazing shall be defined as participating in or allowing any or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act that creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person. A forced or coerced activity shall also be considered hazing when the initiation or admission into, or continued affiliation with, a university organization is directly or indirectly conditional upon performing that activity. In no event shall the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity serve as a defense in cases of hazing.”
The University of Dayton strictly prohibits hazing. Hazing typically involves behavior that is seen by a reasonable person to endanger the physical health of an individual or cause mental distress. Hazing includes any planned/executed action or activity, by or against any active member, associate member, new member, pledge, or potential member of a student organization or student group (see Definitions) that inflicts (whether intentionally, unintentionally, forcefully or recklessly) physical or mental harm, distress, anxiety, or which may demean, degrade, endanger, embarrass or disgrace any person, regardless of location, consent or intention of participants.
As part of the University of Toledo’s commitment to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment, members of the university community have the right to be free from all forms of hazing. The university has zero tolerance for hazing in any form and all members of the university community must conduct themselves in a manner that supports an environment free from hazing.
No employee, student group, student organization, individual student, team, or alumnus may conduct or condone hazing activities.
All acts of hazing, both on- and off-campus by any organization recognized by or operating under the sanction of Wittenberg University, or group of any of its members, is forbidden. A violation of this policy may exist irrespective of any alleged voluntary or consensual participation in the activity by the person(s) being abused. The policy will apply only if the hazing takes place between two or more people who are affiliated with Wittenberg University.
Hazing in any form is prohibited and will be considered a Category B violation of the Student Code of Conduct. The University will investigate and respond to all reports of hazing as defined in this policy, and Wright State University Police will be called to investigate any allegation of hazing. Retaliating in any manner against an individual who reports hazing or who participates in an investigation of a hazing report is strictly prohibited and will be investigated by the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. All members of the University community shall cooperate in an investigation of hazing.
All students are expected to act in accordance with Xavier University’s Anti-Hazing Policy. The University does not tolerate hazing activities and mandates reporting of these activities by any member of the Xavier community.
Anyone with knowledge of hazing allegations must make a report to the Dean of Students Office or Xavier University Police Department (XUPD). Generally, the Dean of Students Office will coordinate the university’s response to all hazing allegations involving allegations of student misconduct. The Dean of Students Office reserves the right to involve other Xavier departments/offices (e.g. the Office of Human Resources, XUPD, etc.) as appropriate and those departments will follow all applicable university polices and/or departmental procedures.
Hazing means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization or any act to continue or reinstate membership in or affiliation with any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person, including coercing another to consume alcohol or a drug of abuse, as defined in section 3719.011 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Organizations or groups shall take no action which involves hazing.
Youngstown State University unconditionally opposes any situation created intentionally to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. YSU is committed to providing a hazing-free environment in which students can succeed socially and academically.
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