Hazing is a serious cultural and public health problem that causes physical and mental harm to students nationwide.
In continued support of hazing prevention and awareness, Widener University continues to prohibit all acts of hazing and adheres to the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, which defines hazing to include Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, and Organizational Hazing.
The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law (18 PA C.S. § 2801, et seq.), known as Act 80 of 2018 or Senate Bill 1090, was signed into law on October 19, 2018 by Governor Tom Wolf and amends Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to provide far reaching prevention, enforcement, and transparency strategies around hazing prevention. The bill increases penalties for all of those involved in hazing and requires schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing and inform students and parents of what is happening on campus.
The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law (18 PA C.S. § 2802, et seq.) requires the following provisions:
Adopt a written policy against hazing and rules prohibiting students or others associated with a sanctioned organization from engaging in hazing.
Provide a copy of the policy, including the rules, to all organizations within the institution or secondary school, and post them to their publicly accessible website.
Have a program for enforcing the policy and penalties for violations of the policy such as invoking fines; withholding diplomas or transcripts; revoking recognition of the organization; imposing probation, suspension, dismissal or expulsion.
Maintain a report of all violations of the institution’s antihazing policy or applicable laws related to hazing.
Establishes safe-harbor criteria that will protect someone from prosecution for involvement in a hazing incident if they are seeking assistance for someone in need of help.
Widener University’s updated hazing policy is located in the Widener University Student Handbook.
REPORTING VIOLATIONS OF THE ANTIHAZING POLICY
Any violation of this Policy shall be deemed a violation of the Widener University Student Code of Conduct and may also constitute a violation of the Widener University Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy. Widener University encourages all members of the campus community who believe that they have witnessed, experienced, or are aware of conduct that constitutes Hazing, Aggravated Hazing, or Organizational Hazing in violation of this Policy to report the violation to the Office of Student Conduct. Incidents can be reported in person or by dialing 610-499-4391 for the Office of Student Conduct. In an emergency, dial (610) 499-4200 to reach the Department of Campus Safety or dial 911. Incidents of hazing can also be reported online by using the online Hazing Incident Report Form. All reports of hazing will be investigated promptly and shared with the appropriate University Departments.
The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law (18 PA C.S. § 2808) requires an institution to disclose and maintain a report of all violations of the institution’s antihazing policy or applicable laws starting in August 2013. The report shall be updated biannually on January 1 and August 1 of each calendar year. Widener University will retain and post all reports for five years. The initial report and subsequent reports are provided below.