Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed legislation to end the silent culture of hazing at Louisiana’s higher education institutions. House Bill 793
by Rep. Steve Carter (R-Baton Rouge) toughens the penalties for hazing, mandates reporting of such incidents and requires colleges and universities to provide hazing education and prevention during orientation.
“No student should ever be coerced into taking part in any life-threatening hazing rituals or be afraid to report such incidents,” said Gov. Edwards. “This has gone on too long and caused far too much heartache for students and families. College campuses should always be a safe place for our young people to learn and grow. If we arm these young adults with the knowledge to identify hazing, we could save lives. That is our ultimate goal. It sends the clear message to students that hazing will not be tolerated on Louisiana campuses and ensures that all students are educated about the dangers of hazing.”
In the fall of 2017, Gov. Edwards urged Louisiana’s higher education institutions to carefully review hazing, alcohol and drug policies across all student organizations in the wake of the death of freshman student Maxwell Gruver.
HB 793 prohibits hazing at Louisiana colleges and universities and provides that violators are suspended or dismissed and not allowed to return for at least the current session. It mandates that organizations report to the institution if any disciplinary action is taken against a member whether by the local chapter or parent organization. The bill calls for the Board of Regents to establish a uniform policy of hazing for all state institutions of higher education and requires that each school offer a one hour orientation on hazing prevention to members and prospective members of on-campus organizations. Each organization must submit a report to the institution documenting that students participated in the training.