COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Starting this fall, the state of Ohio will aim to end hazing on college campuses. On Tuesday Governor Mike DeWine signed Collin’s Law, which significantly increases penalties for hazing and requires anti-hazing training on college campuses.
The governor was joined Tuesday by the families of two Ohio students who recently died after being hazed. Though the celebration was muted, advocates say the new law makes Ohio a national leader in anti-hazing reform, adding it’s needed now to prevent another tragedy.
Governor DeWine says, “We can’t wait to get serious about this until we lose another child.”
So, tougher criminal penalties are coming to Ohio as the state tries to eradicate hazing. The new law creates harsher penalties for hazing, including making it a felony when drugs or alcohol are involved.
And college campuses must provide anti-hazing training and online information about reported violations.
Governor DeWine says it’s hard to change long-established culture. “This bill says that going forward, hazing in the state of Ohio is simply not tolerated.”
The new law is named after Collin Wiant, who died in November 2018 after ingesting nitrous oxide forced on him by fraternity brothers at Ohio University. Seven people from his fraternity pleaded guilty to charges.
Since his death, Collin’s mother Kathleen has tirelessly campaigned for reform. She said, “I can think of no greater way to honor him than a law in his name, designed for the sole purpose of protecting others. Collin, I know you’re watching, and I hope we made you proud.”
Shari Foltz is the mother of Stone Foltz, a Bowling Green University student who died in February 2021 after allegedly being hazed. She said, “Do I want be here? No. Obviously I’d want my son back.” But Shari added, “Collin’s law is a step in the right direction, but we are not done. We will continue to fight. Our fight is zero tolerance.”