New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Kip Bateman
Senator Tom Kean

Bipartisan Anti-Hazing Bill Passes Senate

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Singleton/Kean/Bateman Bill Bars Students Convicted of Hazing from Receiving State Tuition Aid

The New Jersey Senate has passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, and Senators Troy Singleton and Kip Bateman that would ensure in-state college students who are convicted of hazing are not eligible for State tuition aid.

More than 200 students have died from hazing-related accidents in the United States since 1838, and 40 students have died in the past decade alone, according to reports. (Economist.com/Hank Nuwer)

“Our legislation sends a clear message: if you haze a classmate, the state will not fund your education. Students can choose to value their time on campus and treat others with respect, or find another way to pay for it,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “We won’t allow this culture of humiliation and violence to continue in New Jersey. Too many young lives have been lost already.”

“For too long, hazing has been used as a rite of passage into college fraternities and sororities. It is dangerous, it is irresponsible, and tragically, it is sometimes deadly,” Senator Singleton (D-7) said. “However, as a member of a Greek organization, I am saying ‘enough is enough.’ If students are found guilty of hazing another student they should fully understand the seriousness of this illegal practice and what’s at stake. If we want students to stop hazing, there needs to be real consequences for their actions.”

A recent University of Maine study found a number of shocking statistics regarding on-campus hazing. Among other figures, they found:

  • 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.
  • 40% of students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus.
  • More than 20% report that they witnessed hazing personally.
  • 82% of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

S-3039 would combat this crisis, by ensuring any student who is convicted of hazing or aggravated hazing cannot receive financial aid from the state.

Senator Kip Bateman, who co-sponsors S-3039, added that the recent death of Timothy Piazza, a Penn State Student and native of Sen. Bateman’s legislative district, demonstrates the need for the Legislature to enact stronger deterrents.

Bateman also sponsors legislation named for Piazza, that would upgrade criminal penalties for hazing.

“Our entire community was devastated by Tim’s tragic passing. No parent should have to lose their child in such a horrific way,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “I strongly believe that our multifaceted legislative deterrents will make college kids think twice before they take part in hazing.”

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