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Ohio's anti-hazing bill goes into effect Oct. 7; 'Collin's Law' supporters hope it sends a message

Tyler Perino, a survivor of hazing, says it's something that needed to be done and wishes it should've been done sooner.

OHIO, USA — Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated Collin's Law was going into effect on Oct. 1. However, the state says the law will be effective Oct. 7.

The deadly consequences of hazing hit close to home when Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz died earlier this year.

But now, a new law that aims to put a stop to the group ritual will go into effect Oct 7. 

Tyler Perino, now a senior at the University of Toledo, says this is one step in the right direction.

He calls himself lucky to have survived a hazing incident that happened to him when he was a student at Miami University and is encouraged by Collin's Law.

RELATED: From pledge to purpose: Former Miami University student aims to halt fraternity hazing

"Honestly I think it's great. I think it's something that needed to be done. I honestly think it should've been done sooner," said Perino. 

Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine signed Collin's Law back in July. It aims to protect people like Perino after he had the chance to share his story with lawmakers to push for change.

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs anti-hazing Collin's Law

"I just think it's my duty to just kinda go out there because I was able to live through it luckily. And just kind of try to educate people. Especially I think the target group is definitely the kids that are going into college," said Perino. 

The law is named after Collin Wiant.

Wiant pledged a fraternity as a freshman at Ohio University in 2018 but died after a hazing incident.

The bill stalled until BGSU sophomore Stone Foltz lost his life from hazing involving alcohol at an off-campus frat event in March. 

"It ultimately comes down to the group of individuals that are part of the organization," said Perino. 

Attorney Sean Alto represents Perino, as well as the Foltz and Wiant families

He says harsher punishments for hazing are a move in the right direction.

"I think everyone feels that it's going to make Ohio a safer place for college students, for young folks who go off to college," said Alto.  

It's safer by making general hazing a second-degree misdemeanor. Aggravated hazing, which causes physical harm and death, will now be a third-degree felony. 

The Foltz family has called for all Ohio colleges to adopt a zero-tolerance hazing policy.

RELATED: 'We made a promise to him' | Stone Foltz's parents play a major role in creating new zero-tolerance hazing initiative

And Perino agrees there's still work to be done.

"Sadly, I think it's gonna almost take another scenario to happen. And then those even more strict punishments be given to those kids or group of kids, to kind of make people say, 'oh wait, they're not joking around,'" said Perino.

Because hazing isn't a joke. 

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