Collin’s Law Increases Penalties for Hazing Rituals

July 7, 2021
Hands holding a lit candle.

UPDATE: Oct. 7, 2021: Ohio’s Collin’s Law is now officially in effect, toughening the state’s hazing violations. “This bill says that going forward, hazing in the state of Ohio is simply not tolerated,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. 

Collin’s Law expands the definition of hazing and increases penalties.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill to increase penalties for those involved in hazing incidents both on and off college campuses. The bill, coined Collin’s Law, is a tribute to 18-year-old Collin Wiant, an Ohio University freshman, who died in 2018 after ingesting nitrous oxide in a fraternity house hazing ritual. This anti-hazing law imposes harsher criminal penalties for dangerous acts of hazing.

Hazing violations will be classified as second-degree misdemeanors, and hazing violations involving forced consumption of drugs or alcohol that causes serious harm will be a third-degree felony with possible prison time. The bill also requires universities to report hazing incidents, and provide anti-hazing training and online information about these violations. The legislation was passed with bipartisan support and will take effect this fall.

Hazing allegations can lead to multiple processes, such as student conduct hearings, criminal charges, and civil actions for monetary damages. KJK has defended students faced with hazing allegations in all of these forums.