Hazing News

New York bulletin



The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent the tragic injuries and deaths that can occur due to hazing at colleges and universities. The bill (S.1937), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), would help cut down on hazing by strengthening a college or university’s enforcement authority and increasing awareness of the consequences of hazing, underage drinking, and illegal drug use.


“Hazing can create physical as well as emotional scars that may last a lifetime,” Senator LaValle said. “There is nothing ‘good-natured’ about hazing and it cannot be tolerated on our college and university campuses.”


“Hazing and the consequences that follow play no positive role in a student’s well-being,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “This legislation will help schools develop and enforce policies that deter this harmful and potentially deadly behavior.”


In spite of good faith efforts on the part of institutions of higher education to implement policies and procedures to combat hazing, problems continue and show no signs of decreasing. Last month, SUNY Binghamton halted all pledging activity on campus due to an alarming number of serious hazing complaints, and in November, a member of Florida A&M’s marching band was beaten to death during a hazing ritual. Parents, administrators and trustees have become increasingly concerned about the safety of their children and students on campus.


This legislation passed today would build upon existing criminal laws against hazing, underage drinking and illegal drug use to deter such activities by requiring colleges and universities to implement more serious consequences and disciplinary charges for offenders. The bill:

· Requires colleges to adopt rules prohibiting hazing, underage

drinking and illegal drug use and establish penalties for


· Expands authority of colleges to regulate conduct by college and

student government organizations and clubs, athletic teams and clubs,

alumni organizations, fraternities, sororities, and any other

organization that has access to and use of the college facilities;

· Requires colleges to educate the campus community on bias-related

crime, hazing, underage drinking and illegal drug use; and

· Requires colleges to inform incoming students of and to train

residence hall staff in the prohibitions against hazing, underage

drinking and illegal drug use.


The bill will be sent to the Assembly.





Unfortunately it doesn’t change the classification of the crime or penalties but adds substantial unfunded mandates from the state.


Take care,



By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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