Introduced Version Senate Bill 1004 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2019 first extraordinary session


Senate Bill 1004

By Senators Carmichael (Mr. President) and Prezioso

 (By Request of the Executive)

[Introduced May 20, 2019]

A BILL to amend and reenact §18-16-1, §18-16-2, §18-16-3, and §18-16-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating generally to prohibiting hazing; adopting a short title; defining terms; criminalizing participation in hazing; establishing criminal penalties; expanding and clarifying organizations subject to anti-hazing provisions; requiring institutions of higher education to promulgate policies related to hazing; requiring enforcement of institution anti-hazing policies; and authorizing institutions to impose noncriminal penalties for hazing.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


§18-16-1. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Antihazing Law” “West Virginia Anti-hazing Law.”

§18-16-2. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(1) “Hazing” means to cause any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person or persons or causes another person or persons to destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by the members of which are primarily students or alumni of an institution of higher education. The term includes, but is not limited to, any brutality acts of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced required consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced required physical activity which could reasonably be deemed to adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual person or individuals persons so treated, and includes any activity which would subject the individual person or individuals persons so treated to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced required conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced required activity which could reasonably be deemed to adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual person or individuals person so treated, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property: Provided, That the implied or expressed consent or willingness of a person or persons to hazing shall may not be a defense under this section.

(2) “Institution of higher education” or “institution” means any public or private institution as defined in §18B-1-2 of this code.

(3) “Organization” means any fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, club, or similar group, or a national or international affiliate thereof, the membership of which is primarily made up students or alumni of an institution of higher education.

§18-16-3. Hazing prohibited.

Any person or persons who causes hazing is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or confined  in a county or regional jail for not more than nine months, or both fined and imprisoned confined. Provided, That if the act would otherwise be deemed a felony as defined in this code, the person committing such act may be found guilty of such felony and, be subject to penalties provided for such felony

§18-16-4. Enforcement by institutions.

(a) Antihazing policy.The university of West Virginia board of trustees created pursuant to article two, chapter eighteen-b of this code and the board of directors of the state college system created pursuant to article three of said chapter shall by August 1, 1995, promulgate guidelines for antihazing policies The governing body of each institution of higher education in this state shall promulgate and enforce antihazing rules consistent with this article.

(b) Enforcement and penalties. —

(1) Each institution shall provide a program for the enforcement of such rules promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and shall adopt appropriate penalties for violations of such rules to be administered by the person or agency at the institution responsible for the sanctioning or recognition of such organizations thereof.

(2) In the case of an organization which authorizes hazing in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties Penalties may also include recision of permission for that an organization to operate on campus property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or recognition of the institution.

(3) All penalties imposed under the authority of this section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation of §18-16-3 of this code or of any of the criminal laws of this state. or for violation of any other institutional rule to which the violator may be subject

(4) Rules adopted pursuant hereto apply to acts conducted on or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute hazing as defined in §18-16-2 of this code.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to extend the prohibition against hazing to any organization whose members are primarily students or alumni of an institution of higher education.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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