Call for anti-hazing legislation: What policies are in place at local colleges

NBC NEWS (KWQC) -There is a new push to enact hazing legislation in the wake of the death of a Penn State student earlier this year. Now, the parents who lost their son to another hazing, are speaking out.

"Parents send their children to learn and grow not to be hazed and die. We're tired of seeing this. Something needs to be done," said Gary DeVercelly.

His son died in a hazing incident back in 2007. DeVercelly and his wife have joined Congressman Patrick Meehan to talk about the Reach Act. Meehan says the legislation would set a national definition for hazing and would require colleges and universities to track incidents of hazing.

It would also educate students and provide them a designated place to safely report incidents of hazing - on or off campus. Meehan says hazing is something most students will encounter, but will never report.

"Hazing is the kind of thing that 55-percent of students will experience some kind of hazing on college campus and 95-percent will go unreported, said Rep. Meehan (R- PA)

And the DeVercelly family say hazing doesn't just take place in the Greek system.

"Hazing doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, or status. Hazing isn't just a Greek thing. It happens to students in athletics, clubs and organizations. It also happens in the high schools as well as colleges," said Julie DeVercelly.

KWQC checked Quad City area universities online and found hazing definitions and discipline policies already in place.

Here is the policy for the University of Iowa:

D.26 Hazing. Any intentional or reckless action or situation, with or without consent, that endangers a student or creates risk of injury, mental or physical discomfort, harassment, embarrassment, and/or ridicule for the purpose of initiation into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in any student organization, fraternity, sorority, or team recognized by the University of Iowa Student Government or by any other University sponsor or department. Hazing may occur on or off campus. Acts of hazing include, but are not limited to: compulsory alcohol or drug consumption; physical brutality; psychological cruelty; public humiliation; morally degrading activities; forced confinement; creation of excessive fatigue; required removal or destruction of public or private property; or any other activity that endangers the physical, mental, psychological, or academic well-being and/or safety of an individual. Officers and members of a student organization who knowingly permit such prohibited activity to occur without taking reasonable preventative measures are subject to the Code of Student Life as an individual, even if they did not administer the hazing activity.

You can click to read the specific policies at other area colleges and universities.