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UVa hazing report is first to be released under Adam’s Law

Student Affairs at the University of Virginia shared its first-ever hazing misconduct report with the public last month, which found five organizations responsible for hazing since the beginning of this year. The report is a new requirement under the Virginia Code also known as Adam’s Law, which went into effect at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

Virginia’s legislature passed the law in January after VCU freshman Adam Oakes died from alcohol poisoning while pledging Delta Chi fraternity.

The code requires all state higher education institutions to maintain a public record of investigations that found organizations guilty of violating the code of conduct or Virginia hazing laws. The public record must include the name of the organization, the dates of the misconduct, the initial report and the beginning of the university’s investigation.

Student Affairs, which also houses Fraternity and Sorority Life, compiled the report and will maintain future updates of the misconduct report.

According to the report, Kappa Alpha and Phi Gamma Delta were both removed from university Grounds earlier this year. KA’s removal from UVa is the most recent update from Student Affairs.

The UVa chapter of Theta Tau is awaiting a disciplinary trial because a university investigation found the fraternity guilty of punishing new members with derogatory nicknames and futile tasks if they failed to perform favors like swiping existing members into the dining hall.

The organization will go to the University Judiciary Committee this fall.

“By making parents and students aware of past hazing behavior in specific organizations, they can be better informed about the risks associated with those organizations,” a Student Affairs administrator said. “Publishing the information may also serve as a deterrent for organizations who wish to avoid reputational harm.”

UVa has a new place on its website for the Hazing Misconduct Report in compliance with the new law, but the university has been updating a record of chapter misconduct history on the Student Affairs website since 2017.

The chapter conduct history includes information about the semester of the reported misconduct, the responsible organization and its associated sorority or fraternity, a summary of the issue and the university’s disciplinary action. The page has not been updated since spring 2021.

In addition to requiring detailed hazing misconduct reports, Adam’s Law also requires higher education institutions to conduct in-person hazing prevention training and education for all current, new, and pledging members of all fraternities and sororities.

“This training is a powerful tool in creating awareness and helping students be more active in both preventing and reporting hazing behavior,” the Student Affairs administrator said. “The university has long conducted hazing prevention training and required it of all fraternities and sororities on an annual basis.”

The law also requires institutions to include a policy that prevents potential, new or current members from disciplinary action should they violate the school’s code of conduct while being hazed. Students who are victims of hazing may only be spared from disciplinary consequences if they report it to local authorities before or during the incident.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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