Colleges and State Laws Are Clamping Down on Fraternities

June 12, 2018

Fraternity members at Louisiana State University adhere to age-old rituals, shrouded in secrecy, that dictate how they gather, greet each other and initiate their young pledges.

But when they return to campus in the fall, one ritual will be drastically different: They will face much more severe consequences for dangerous hazing incidents.

In May, eight months after the death of Maxwell Gruver, a freshman pledge at the university’s now banished Phi Delta Theta fraternity chapter, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana signed into law an anti-hazing bill that would make it a felony for those involved in hazing that resulted in death, serious bodily harm, or life-threatening levels of alcohol. And students found guilty could land in a Louisiana jail for up to five years.

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