Posted: November 30, 2023

Greek life hazingHazing across college campuses throughout the United States is an issue, an issue that even lawmakers recognize. Anti-hazing laws are in place in 44 states. However, despite recognizing the problem, there is variability from state to state and campus to campus on the enforcement of those laws and their strength. That’s where partnering with a lawyer can help. If you’ve been injured due to hazing -- whether at a fraternity, on a sports team or otherwise -- you may be protected under the law and have your injuries addressed legally. Find out more about hazing in college and what a lawyer may be able to do for you.

Hazing in the News

Hazing is not a bygone issue. As recently as earlier this year, Bowling Green State settled a lawsuit for $3 million regarding a hazing claim. Hazing is still happening today and may even be spreading.

In September 2022, it was reported that 10 Pennsylvania high school students were charged with hazing incidents on the football team.

Hazing is a prevalent problem; while you may feel alone, you are not.

What Constitutes Hazing

According to Stop Hazing. an organization dedicated to researching and advocating against hazing, there are three components to hazing:

  • Hazing occurs in a group context.
  • Hazing is comprised of humiliating, degrading, or endangering acts and behaviors.
  • Hazing is carried out regardless of an individual’s consent.

Hazing may also involve coercion or the promise that you will gain acceptance. It can range from intimidation to violent acts. While the damage of violent hazing may be intuitive, even the more common, less aggressive intimidation may lead to psychological damage.

Contact Kline & Specter Today if You’ve Been a Victim of Hazing

The colleges you attend are obligated to maintain your safety and follow the law. If you’ve been injured or harmed by a hazing incident, let the attorneys at Kline & Specter advocate for you.

Founding partner Tom Kline represented the family of a Penn State student who was a victim of hazing. Kline helped not only the family of Timothy Piazza reach a substantial settlement, his efforts led to a comprehensive reform package that seeks to make Greek life safer at campuses across the nation and to discourage hazing in general.

He also worked with legislators in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey to help enact laws that increase the penalties against hazing. The Pennsylvania law upgrades the crime to a felony, meaning offenders can face serious prison time. In New Jersey, the law requires all higher education institutions and even middle schools and high schools to adopt anti-hazing policies while also stepping up penalties for offenders.