Senate Bill No. 53
(By Senators Blatnik, Bowman, Oliverio,
Dugan, Grubb, Helmick, Miller and White)
[Originating in the Committee on Education;
reported February 10, 1995.]
A BILL to amend chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article sixteen, relating
to education; higher education; creating the antihazing law;
providing definitions; prohibiting hazing; providing for
enforcement by institutions; and providing civil and
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article sixteen, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 16. ANTIHAZING LAW.
§18-16-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the
(a) "Hazing" means any action or situation on or off the
premises of an institution of higher education which recklessly
or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or
safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes 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 an institution of higher
education. The term includes, but is not limited to, any
brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating,
paddling, branding, physical or psychological shocks, forced
calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any
food, liquor, drug or other substance, forced road trips, forced
morally degrading or humiliating games or activities or any other
forced physical activity which could adversely affect the
physical health or safety of the individual, and includes any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental
stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social
contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme
embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely
affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any
willful destruction or removal of public or private property.
For the purpose of this definition, any activity as described in
this definition upon which the initiation or admission into an
affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is
directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be a
"forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to
participate in such activity notwithstanding.
(b) "Institution of higher education" or "institution" means
any public or private institution as defined in section two,
article one, chapter eighteen-b of this code.
§18-16-3. Hazing prohibited.
Any person who causes or participates in hazing is guilty of
a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not
less than three hundred dollars nor more than five hundred
dollars, or confined in a county or regional jail, not less than
forty-eight hours nor more than one year, or both fined and
§18-16-4. Enforcement by institution.
(a) Antihazing policy. -- Each institution shall adopt a
written antihazing policy and, pursuant to that policy, shall
adopt rules prohibiting students or other persons associated with
any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as
an organization by the institution from engaging in any activity
which can be described as hazing.
(b) Enforcement and penalties. --
(1) Each institution shall provide a program for the
enforcement of such rules 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.
(2) Such penalties may include the imposition of fines, the
withholding of diplomas or transcripts pending compliance with
the rules or pending payment of fines and the imposition of
probation, suspension or dismissal.
(3) In the case of an organization which authorizes hazing
in blatant disregard of such rules, penalties may also include
recision of permission for that organization to operate on campus
property or to otherwise operate under the sanction or
recognition of the institution.
(4) All penalties imposed under the authority of this
section shall be in addition to any penalty imposed for violation
of section three of this article 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.
(5) Rules adopted pursuant hereto apply to acts conducted on
or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute hazing.