Push to end hazing heads to Congress with bill that would force colleges to come clean

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WASHINGTON — The issue of hazing makes its way to Capitol Hill. Now there’s a push from lawmakers to end hazing at fraternities and sororities across the country.

After hearing that at least 40 students have died because of hazing in the past decade, supporters say it’s time to force colleges and universities to come clean about dangerous incidents involving student organizations.

“This has gone too far,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, who introduced a bill cracking down on hazing. “You still send your kid to that university, but they don’t join that organization.”

Cassidy’s bill would require any hazing that involves serious injury or the possibility of injury to be reported to police within 72 hours.

It would also require colleges and universities to post the names of organizations that have been disciplined for hazing on their websites.

“If they know there’s going to be this transparency, they don’t do it.” Cassidy said.  “That’s the ultimate in being busted because the organization won’t have members.”

Several states already have similar requirements, but lawmakers, families and even the fraternities and sororities themselves said they believe this federal bill is the best way to address the issue of hazing.

The North American Interfraternity Conference and Naitonal Panhellenic Conference CEOs released a statement, saying in part, “We must bring more transparency, accountability and improved safety to all student organizations on campuses nationwide.”

The same bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives. Neither bill has passed yet.

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