Cassidy REACHing for More with Bill to Require Reporting of Hazing Incidents on College Campuses
Last week, we reported that U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy was a part of a bipartisan effort to help prevent hazing on college campuses. The End All Hazing Act would require colleges and universities to post on their websites instances of hazing that took place on campus or within a student organization.
Now, Cassidy has teamed with Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Bob Casey (D-PA) to reintroduce the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act, which would "require hazing incidents to be reported as part of a college's annual crime report and establish a definition of hazing to clarify what constitutes a reportable offense," according to a press release from Cassidy's office.
“Education and accountability are required to end hazing. The REACH Act does," said Dr. Cassidy. "This keeps students safer which increases parents peace of mind.”
"Hazing is a dangerous-and at times deadly-problem on college campuses, and we must work to end it," said Senator Klobuchar. "This legislation will require colleges and universities to include hazing as part of their annual crime reports, giving us a comprehensive and accurate understanding of hazing so we can create effective measures to address it."
In the U.S. House, Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47) have authored companion legislation.
"As a father, grandfather, and former professor, the wellbeing of students has always one of my top priorities. I am proud to work with Congresswoman McBath and Senator Klobuchar on this important legislation. The REACH Act would most importantly add hazing to the list of campus offenses that are disclosed in a higher education institution's Annual Security Report. Hazing is a serious crime, and full transparency of these incidences should be made available to parents and students. The Clery Act currently does not list hazing as a reportable offense, but the REACH Act would close this loophole. My heart goes out to the families that have suffered from incidences of hazing. It is time that we take this important step to protect our students," said Rep. Lowenthal.
Dr. Elizabeth Allan, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maine, the Principal of StopHazing, and the Director of the Hazing Prevention Consortium, also supports the REACH Act saying "passage...will help campus leaders send a strong and clear message that student health, safety, and well-being are vital to achieving the goals of postsecondary education."
Gary and Julie DeVercelly lost their son Gary in March of 2007 following a hazing incident. They believe if the REACH Act had been around 14 years ago, their son would "be alive today."
“On March 30, 2007 our oldest son Gary DeVercelly, Jr. died from a fraternity hazing ritual during Big/Little night at the age of 18," pointed out the DeVercelly's. "Since his death, the number of identified hazing deaths has escalated at an alarming rate. This year alone we have seen three hazing deaths in the span of one week. We see the reintroduction of the REACH Act as a giant step forward in our battle to eradicate hazing. By requiring accountability, transparency, and education this bill will transform the hazing culture. We know the REACH Act will save lives and make campuses safer.”
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