Institutional Hazing Policy & State Law

Finding your place and finding your group on campus is exciting and nervous at the same time. So many choices and so many people! You can be in clubs related to your academics, your faith, a favorite sport or recreation, a cappella groups, theater groups, sororities or fraternities, cultural clubs, or a special interest like American Sign Language! You could be part of a dedicated group of athletes in the various sports that are offered. Explore! Engage! Connect! It is imperative to find a group that works for you, what you like, and what you value. You don’t have to have just one! You will learn as time goes if the group is everything you thought that matches what you want.

We understand the value of being engaged on campus; it leads to a better experience and a higher percentage that you will graduate. We offer a couple opportunities for you to learn about the different groups/organizations on campus through our Student Involvement fairs. Come! You’re invited!

We also know that sometimes members and new members to groups may be asked to do things they don’t want to do in order to be part of the group or to feel part of the group. This should not happen. That could constitute hazing and hazing is illegal, not just against policy. Hazing is defined as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.”

We never want our students to go through this or feel this way. If this is happening to you or someone you know we encourage you to report. Through the menu on the right you will find different ways to report as well as more information about hazing, our Anti-Hazing Policy, and the required documentation of any group or individual found responsible for hazing.

If you have any questions regarding hazing please contact one of the following people:

Kristina P. Bryant (she/her/hers) - 
Director of Student Conduct and Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Jade C.W. Jones (he/him/his) -
Director of Student Involvement and Fraternity and Sorority Life

Collin’s Law

In 2018, Ohio University student Collin Wiant was an 18-year-old pledge of a fraternity. In November of that same year, Collin would be dead due to hazing. In response to the investigation, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made hazing a felony. Collin’s parents pushed and worked with Ohio lawmakers to create what is now known as Collin’s law; a law that will hold people accountable and educate people to prevent behavior that harms.

On July 6, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 126, also known as Collin’s Law with an effective date of October 7, 2021. Among other things, the legislation requires that Wittenberg University do the following:

  1. Develop an anti-hazing policy for Wittenberg University and amend our definitions of hazing to comply with 2903.31(A) of the Ohio Revised Code.
  2. Designate a person(s) /office(s) to which hazing should be reported.
  3. Provide campus wide notice to all faculty, staff, alumnus, consultant or volunteer of duty to report hazing to law enforcement.
  4. Distribute a copy of the institution’s anti-hazing policy to each registered student organization and post on the institution’s publicly accessible website.
  5. Begin the process(es) necessary to establish and provide students with an educational program on hazing, which shall include information regarding hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the institution's anti-hazing policy developed under the law, for the next new student orientation.
  6. Beginning the 2022-2023 academic year, each institution shall maintain a report of all violations of university’s anti-hazing policy. Each institution shall post the report on its publicly accessible website.

Collin's Law Hazing Report

Mandatory Reporting and the Law

Responsibilities for Employees and Volunteers

A “mandatory reporter” must immediately report knowledge of hazing as defined in this policy to the University through the reporting options outlined in this policy.

A mandatory reporter who fails to make a timely report will be subject to appropriate discipline. Each of the following is considered a “mandatory reporter:”

  1. Any full or part-time employees of the University and graduate assistants.
  2. Any volunteer acting in an official capacity who advises or coaches student organizations and/or student groups/team and who have direct contact with students.
  3. Employees who are required by law to protect confidentiality are exempt from this requirement.

Under the law, no administrator, staff member, faculty member, consultant, alumnus, or volunteer of any organization affiliated with Wittenberg, who is acting in an official and professional capacity shall recklessly fail to immediately report the knowledge of hazing to a law enforcement agency in the county in which the victim of hazing resides or in which the hazing is occurring or has occurred.

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