(HARRISBURG) – The PA Senate unanimously approved a wide-ranging antihazing measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) that focuses on prevention, enforcement and transparency in order to end hazing. Senate Bill 1090 will now be sent to the House for consideration.
“The family of Tim Piazza, who died after a February 2017 fraternity pledge event, turned a parent’s worst nightmare into a mission to end hazing,” Senator Corman said. “It is my privilege to join them in this fight by comprehensively rewriting the state’s hazing laws. We are hopeful the House will act quickly and join us in taking a stand to prevent death or serious injury due to hazing so that families, such as Tim’s, never experience tragedies like this ever again.”
The bill increases penalties for those involved in hazing; requires schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and ensures that parents and students are provided with information related to the issue. It also establishes clear-cut parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities.
“We want Pennsylvania’s hazing laws to be a model for the United States,” Senator Corman said. “The carefully crafted bill provides law enforcement with the tools they need to fully prosecute those who engage in hazing-related activities, which we hope serves as a deterrent. At the same time, it provides safe harbor provisions so those who are nearby can help by calling for assistance for someone who may be in distress.”
According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, there have been no convictions under the third-degree misdemeanor anti-hazing statute during the last decade that have resulted in anything more than probation. The low number of convictions under the antihazing statute is the result of most hazing-related activities being charged under a different, more substantive offense such as furnishing alcohol to minors or reckless endangerment.