H. B. 2012
(By Delegate Marshall)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §18-16-2, §18-16-3 and §18-16-4 of the
Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to West
Virginia's antihazing statute; clarifying the definitions of
hazing and institution of higher learning; eliminating
potential defenses; permitting the accused to have a hearing;
providing protections for the identities of the accused;
providing that the antihazing statute does not preclude
prosecution from more general offenses; providing for
instances of hazing that do not result in an injury any
penalty must also include remedial instruction and training.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-16-2, §18-16-3 and §18-16-4 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read
ARTICLE 16. ANTIHAZING LAW.
(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 Hazing 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 affects 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) It is not a defense to a charge of hazing that: (1) The consent of the victim has been obtained; (2) the conduct or
activity that resulted in the death or injury of a person was not
part of an official organizational event or was not otherwise
sanctioned or approved by the organization; or (3) the conduct or
activity that resulted in death or injury of the person was not
done as a condition of membership to an organization.
_____(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this
section, hazing does not include initiation activities that further
conditioning goals on athletic teams, promotes scholarship within
an organization, promotes service to the community, develops
leadership and/or social skills, assists career goals, involves
students in lawful activities with alumni, builds awareness of
organizational history, instills team-building within the
organization, fosters solidarity or otherwise promotes the
institutional missions of the institution of higher education.
(b) (d) "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. These terms also
include any public and nonpublic postsecondary educational
institutions whose students receive state student financial
§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 regional jail, not
more than nine months, or both fined and imprisoned.
That(a) 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.
(b) This section does not preclude prosecution for a more
general offense resulting from the same criminal transaction or
§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 August 1, 1995, Each institution of higher education as
defined by subsection (d), section two of this article shall
promulgate guidelines for antihazing policies. The guidelines shall
consist of clear and concise definitions of what hazing is and what
hazing is not and be consistent with the language set forth in this
(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. As the negative stigma associated with a
hazing allegation is high, all persons and organizations accused of
hazing shall be granted a hearing in which they are permitted to
face their accusers and be advised of the allegations against them.
The hearing shall permit the accused the right to defend himself or
herself and shall be conducted by no fewer than three faculty
members and one student.
_____(2) The information provided to the accused persons for
purposes of a hearing shall not be made known to the public and
consistent with the provisions set forth in subsection five-a,
article four, chapter eighteen-b of this code, having to do with a
strict adherence to protecting the identities of the accusers from
the public domain.
(2) (3) In the case of an organization which authorizes
serious hazing in blatant intentional 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) In the case of an organization that authorizes hazing in
reckless disregard where no injuries, physical or mental are
sustained, penalties shall include a period of remedial instruction
and training designed to educate each person about what hazing is
and what it can cause.
(3) (5) 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) (6) Rules adopted pursuant hereto apply to acts conducted
on or off campus whenever such acts are deemed to constitute
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the definitions
of hazing and institution of higher learning. The bill eliminates
potential defenses. The bill permits the accused to a hearing.
The bill provides protections for the accused identities. The bill
provides that the antihazing statute does not preclude prosecution
from more general offenses. The bill provides that instances of
hazing that do not result in an injury any penalty must also
include remedial instruction and training.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would