COLUMBUS, Ohio – One week after the state enacted an anti-hazing law honoring a student from At Ohio University who died in 2018, the university suspended another fraternity for allegedly violating hazing rules.
The Athens- The base school sent the fraternity a notice Tuesday that it will be suspended for four years following an investigation by the school that revealed a pattern of violations of the student code of conduct. nine violations, including the sale and distribution of alcohol, reckless behavior and forced alcohol consumption, according to a statement from Dr. Jenny Hall-Jones, acting vice president of student affairs. It is not clear what motivated the investigation.
Fraternity members are prohibited from joining other fraternities on campus or starting their own, the school said. The fraternity will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in 2025.
The suspension follows Governor Mike DeWine's signing of a bill last week that established tougher penalties for hazing at Ohio colleges and universities beginning this fall.
"Collin's Law" is named after Collin Wiant, an 18-year-old Ohio University freshman who died in 2018 after ingesting nitrous oxide at a different fraternity house, who was expelled in May 2019.
The legislation had stalled during previous sessions, but bipartisan efforts to pass it were renewed after the death of Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz from alcohol intoxication in March. Seven current or former members of the Bowling Green State fraternity have pleaded not guilty to various charges in Foltz's death.
Seven people from the Ohio University fraternity previously pleaded guilty to the charges in Wiant's death.
"Collin was a natural protector," said his mother, Kathleen Wiant, who has championed the legislation since her son's death, at the July 6 signing ceremony. “I can't think of a better way to honor him than a law in his name designed for the sole purpose of protecting others.”
The law goes into effect in October and will raise hazing violations to second degree. minor offences. It will make hazing that involves the forced use of drugs or alcohol that seriously harms someone a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment.
The law will also require college campuses to provide anti-hazing training and online reporting on complaints.
"We can't wait to get serious about this until we lose another child, until we lose another college student," DeWine said last week when he signed the bill.
He added: "Let's get serious and say that hazing is wrong when there are no deaths, when everyone wakes up the next morning, that's still wrong."
A door with a historical marker is shown on the Ohio University campus in Athens, Ohio. A week after the state enacted an anti-hazing law honoring an Ohio University student who died in 2018, the university suspended another fraternity for allegedly violating hazing rules. Southeastern Ohio University sent the school's Delta Tau Delta Beta Chapter a notice on July 13 that it will be suspended for four years.