Anti-Hazing Efforts to Take Before the Upcoming School Year
As Ohio colleges and universities prepare for the fall 2023 semester, it is important to remember two key provisions in Collin’s Law that require action before the start of the new school year. Collin’s Law, named for Ohio University freshman Collin Wiant after his hazing-related death in 2018, expanded the definition of hazing, increased penalties for failure to report hazing, required the adoption of an anti-hazing policy and educational program for students, and added an ongoing reporting requirement outlined in Ohio Revised Code § 3345.19.
Collin’s Law requires that institutions “maintain a report of all violations of the institution’s [anti-hazing] policy… or other state law regarding hazing that are reported to the institution.” Ohio Revised Code § 3345.19(D)(1). From this information, institutions are required to publicly post specific information related to hazing on two occasions throughout the year: January 1 and August 1. This ongoing report should include the following information:
- The name of the subject of the report
- The date when the subject of the report was charged with a violation of the institution’s policy or other state law regarding hazing
- A general description of the violation, and any investigation and findings by the institution, and any penalties imposed on the subject of the report
- The date on which the matter was resolved. Id.
Institutions should be well-positioned to comply with next week’s August 1, 2023 deadline, having posted their first Collin’s Law report last January. Additionally, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has provided guidance on this topic in the form of reporting templates and guidance regarding a variety of considerations for publicly sharing this information. For more information, review the Additional Supportive Resources available here on OHDE’s website.
The second step to take prior to the 2023-2024 school year is to ensure that students are provided with an educational program on hazing during new student orientation. This educational program must include information about hazing awareness, prevention, intervention, and the institution’s anti-hazing policy. This educational program may be conducted in-person or online. Keep in mind that the language of the Act mandates that institutions provide “at least one opportunity for students to complete the program during a new student orientation.” Ohio Revised Code § 3345.19(E)(1) (emphasis added). While this requirement sets a minimum for training students, institutions may do more to educate students about how to recognize, intervene, and report hazing. Remember that Collin’s Law also requires training for staff and volunteers who advise or coach student organizations and have direct contact with students. It is also advisable to educate other members of the community who are governed by Collin’s Law, including those who may be subject to criminal penalties for reckless conduct (administrators, employees, faculty, teachers, consultants, alumni, and volunteers).
If you have questions about your institution’s anti-hazing policy or compliance with Collin’s Law, reach out to your legal counsel. If you are attending Bowling Green State University’s Anti-Hazing Summit on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, Bricker Graydon attorney, Jessica Galanos, will be presenting a session on anti-hazing basics for those new to Ohio or new to anti-hazing work. For more information about the summit, visit https://www.bgsu.edu/stophazingnow.html.
This is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice and does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship.Download PDF