Senate Bill No. 53
(Senators Blatnik, Bowman, Oliverio, Dugan,
Grubb, Helmick, Miller and White, original sponsors)
[Passed March 7, 1995; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT 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 criminal penalties.
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 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 an institution of higher
education. The term includes, but is not limited to, any
brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating,
branding, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other
substance, or any other forced physical activity which could
adversely affect the physical health and safety of the
individual or individuals, and includes any activity which would subject the individual or individuals 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 individuals, 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
not be a defense under this section.
(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 or persons who causes hazing is guilty of a
misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not
less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand
dollars, or confined in a county or regional jail, not more
than nine months, or both fined and imprisoned: 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
§18-16-4. Enforcement by institution.
(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 the first day of August, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-five, promulgate guidelines for antihazing
(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) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) Rules adopted pursuant hereto apply to acts conducted
on or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute