CWRU cracks down on hazing

Cameron Ward, Contributing Writer

The beginning of the fall 2022 semester saw the unveiling of Case Western Reserve University’s most recent push against hazing on campus in the form of a training module. 

The module comes after the tightening of legislation in response to an incident at Ohio University involving Collin Wiant, a student who died in 2018 following a hazing ritual done by OU’s Sigma Pi, as well as an incident involving Stone Foltz, another student who died in 2021 at Bowling Green State University after attending an initiation event for their Pi Kappa Alpha chapter. 

The new legislation, dubbed “Collin’s Law,” increases the severity of hazing to a second degree misdemeanor. For those who permit or participate in hazing practices, especially those which end in serious injury, the severity of the punishment has been increased to a third degree felony. 

The law also broadens the definition of hazing, requiring those who are aware of it to report and also requiring “staff and volunteers at colleges and universities to undergo training on hazing awareness and prevention.” 

Last semester, CWRU released a nine-page document in response to the new legislation, outlining the administration’s commitment to preventing hazing practices along with the promise of more initiatives to come. This semester, leadership followed through on that promise by instituting a hazing prevention module as a new requirement for incoming students as well as providing access to the module for other members of the campus community.

The module consists of four different chapters on various aspects of what hazing is and the facets involved. The first is an introduction which reminds students of the importance of the module and other hazing-prevention sources. The second and most substantial chapter, with about 30 minutes of material, outlines misconceptions of hazing and how students are able to help, followed by a short assessment. The last two chapters are a review of CWRU’s current policy information and reporting resources.

In addition, this module is required for all of those planning on participating in various organizations on campus, such as athletics, Greek Life and Student Activities. It was also included in this incoming class’ First Year Experience Discover Week, alongside other requirements such as the bystander prevention and drug and alcohol modules. 

It is accessible to all students and staff at CWRU through CampusGroups and is highly encouraged.