In October 2018, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law, a new state anti-hazing law that amends the state crimes code to address and prevent hazing in secondary schools and institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth. The new law includes stricter punishments for the crime of hazing; holds both individuals and organizations accountable for hazing; and requires secondary schools and institutions of higher education to publish anti-hazing policies and publicly report hazing violations.
The new Piazza Antihazing Law defines the crime of hazing, stating that it includes (but is not limited to) conditioning acceptance into or membership in a group on coerced or forced activities, including consumption of food, alcohol or drugs that subject someone to a risk of emotional or physical harm; subjecting someone to brutality of a physical, mental, or sexual nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, sleep deprivation, exclusion from social contact, or exposure to severe weather. All members of the Lehigh University community should read and familiarize themselves with the University’s Anti-Hazing Policy and other important information on the Hazing Prevention website.
The Piazza Antihazing Law was driven by the efforts of Jim and Evelyn Piazza, parents of 19-year-old Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza. Timothy died in February 2017 following a night of hazing at the fraternity he was pledging.
Lehigh is fully supportive of the implementation of the Piazza Anti-Hazing Law and is committed to providing information about hazing in a complete and transparent manner.
The university is also dedicated to nurturing a culture of respect and in rejecting any and all activities and language that make members of campus groups and organizations feel unwelcome, or subjects them to harmful, degrading or dangerous activities as a condition of their inclusion or membership in a group or organization.