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State lawmakers pass new hazing legislation, heads to governor for final approval

House lawmakers approved legislation on Thursday that would change investigation and reporting guidelines regarding hazing incidents on college campuses.

House Bill 443, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, penalizes student organizations and universities that fail to immediately report a hazing incident to law enforcement. The current law gives organizations and higher ed institutions a 14-day window. The bill would also allow campus law enforcement to investigate hazing incidents that occur off campus.

After the death of LSU freshman Maxwell Gruver in 2017, the legislature took steps to pass stricter hazing laws and made hazing a felony crime, instead of a misdemeanor. LSU has since suspended or closed a number of fraternities regarding hazing allegations, including the Pi Kappa Phi chapter last month and the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter in January.

Landry’s bill would also require the Board of Regents to make hazing incidents public record, as well as make university officials document their responses to hazing complaints in writing.

The bill received bipartisan support in both chambers and now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed.

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