COLUMBUS, Ohio — Zero tolerance with hazing on college and university campuses is what the family of Stone Foltz wants and is working toward.
Gov. Mike DeWine along with 14 public university presidents and the Inter-University Council (IUC) announced new anti-hazing principles Monday afternoon.
These principles are in addition to Senate Bill 126, commonly known as Collin's Law, which was signed into law by the governor at the beginning of July.
The university presidents, IUC, and the Foltz family came together to create a policy with zero tolerance at the heart of ensuring no other college student dies or is a victim of hazing again.
Getting rid of hazing and its culture on college campuses is something Stone's parents, Cory and Shari Foltz, have been pushing for since their son's death in March.
"When Stone was in that hospital bed we made a promise to him that we would do everything we possibly could to prevent this from happening to another family or kid," Shari said. "I don't want to see it happen again and it's such an unnecessary act that can be prevented. That's a promise that we made and we're going to keep fighting."
There are 8 principles in the zero-tolerance initiative, which aims to educate people on hazing, discipline acts of hazing, and change the culture of hazing.
- A zero-tolerance approach to all hazing that happens on college and university campuses.
- Automatic dismissal of any student convicted of criminal hazing and debarment from attending any other Ohio public university in accordance with the law.
- Working with law enforcement as a vital partner in combating hazing.
- Strengthening the role of advisors to student organizations.
- Educating family and alumni of hazing along with showing how and where they can report it.
- Improving the substance and delivery of anti-hazing education for students.
- Providing data on hazing violations to inform students' decisions about joining organizations.
- Offer a personal outlet for reporting hazing.
BGSU's President Dr. Rodney Rogers says he and the other presidents recognize that hazing is common on their campuses.
With the help of the Foltz family, this initiative is another step to changing that culture.
"They made a promise to Stone that he wouldn't be left behind, that he wouldn't be forgotten and that no other individual is left behind in the future. These anti-hazing principles certainly reflect that commitment," President Rogers said.
DeWine also said this is another step toward working to make sure hazing is not happening in the state.
"Not only do we need to change the law, but we need to change the culture, and to change culture is tough," he said. "But it's something we are going to change in this state."
Both Cory and Shari Foltz said is this initiative is a huge win for their family and especially for their son.
By coming up with these eight principles, they believe it will hold the students and officials accountable.
These policies are just the start for them. They say, although it's a big step in the right direction, the momentum needs to keep going.
They plan to hold these universities responsible and make sure the policies are in place. They would also like to see something like this become a standard at college and university campuses across the US.