State bill aims to decrease hazing, drinking and drug use at colleges

05/16/2012 2:44 PM |

Senator Ken LaValle

The state Senate passed legislation Wednesday aimed to decrease hazing, underage drinking and drug use at colleges and universities.

Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), the bill’s sponsor, said in a press release that colleges would be required to adopt rules prohibiting those activities and to establish penalties that strengthen existing laws. In addition, colleges would be required to educate its campus communities and inform its incoming students and residence hall staff about the dangers of three issues.

Last month, SUNY Binghamton halted all pledging activity on its campus after receiving several hazing complaints, officials said, and in November, a member of the Florida A&M’s marching band was beaten to death as part of a hazing ritual.

“Hazing can create physical as well as emotional scars that may last a lifetime,” Mr. LaValle said. “There is nothing good-natured about hazing and it cannot be tolerated on our college and university campuses.”

The bill will be sent to the state Assembly for approval.

jennifer@timesreview.com