BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Monday marks the first day of National Hazing Prevention Week 2022 across the country, and over a year since Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz died in a fraternity hazing incident in March of 2021.
Foltz's death sparked calls for change across the state and the country.
A year and six months later, his parents, Cory and Shari, said it is still difficult to get out of bed sometimes. But, they find the motivation to be an example for their other two children.
"We do have to get up every day and show them how strong we are in order for them to go on with their days. They give us a lot of strength," Shari said.
It's a strength they've tapped into as they travel across the country giving speaking engagements warning others about the dangers of hazing.
With National Hazing Prevention Week, the Foltz family said they hope students across all campuses understand that hazing and initiation rituals are more than just college fun; they can rob families of loved ones.
"The students need to understand that it's them that will make the change. They need to change their culture," Cory said. "So, we look for all students to step up and make the change."
And on Bowling Green's campus, some students said there has been a difference.
BGSU freshman Richie Murray was a junior in high school when Foltz passed. He said seeing what happened to Foltz changed what he wanted out of college.
"I definitely don't want to get into a fraternity because of things like that," Murray said.
And students say BGSU's zero-tolerance policy for hazing has changed the way Greek life organizations handle themselves as well. Two fraternities have already been suspended for violations since March of last year, and anti-hazing programs on campus have changed the way students think about partying and safety.
"I'd say the conversations were open and out there, it wasn't something that was quiet, hazing wasn't a quiet issue," BGSU sophomore Aiden Brown said. "It was something we all wanted to stand against."
The Foltz family said BGSU has taken great strides to make sure there are serious repercussions for students that are involved in hazing incidents, but there is still work to be done in terms of prevention.