FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – The student leader of a Miami Valley fraternity and sorority organization says a new state law will help change the culture on college campuses for the better. On Tuesday Governor DeWine signed “Collin’s Law”, which increases penalties for hazing.
Connor Algren is the President of the Interfraternity Council at Wright State University. He says he’s grateful this law has been signed, and for the families’ efforts in the face of tragedy. But he adds many of these culture changes are already happening on campus.
Algren says, “The whole goal there is to love them, protect them. Hazing does the opposite of that.”
Algren says hazing goes against the values of Wright State and its student organizations. He says the issue is a power imbalance when new members are often willing to do whatever it takes to fit in, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Algren says, “They don’t see the problems and the things they’re doing because it’s always been done that way.”
Back in March, Algren wrote an open letter to the Wright State community, calling for the support and passage of Collin’s Law.
Right now, Algren says both individuals and organizations on campus do a good job of self-reporting issues. But he says there have been a few instances in the past few years, and so this new law is necessary. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said Wright State has a different culture, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen here, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen here. It can happen anywhere, that’s the sad fact of the matter. That’s why Collin’s Law is so important.”
Right now, Algren says new members get hazing prevention education after they join an organization, but the new law will require it before they join, which he says will be beneficial.
And he’s grateful the Wiant and Foltz families used their tragedies to create something positive, saying, “Their goal was to educate the organizations and to make us better, rather than get rid of us. It was not easy for Collin’s parents or Stone Foltz’s parents to do what they did.”
Algren says you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization or university without anti-hazing policies already in place. But he says he transferred from a larger state school and says the no-tolerance climate at Wright State is not found everywhere.