(InvestigateTV) — This Week on InvestigateTV: In this special edition of InvestigateTV – Hazed & Excused – the team looks at instances of hazing on college campuses. Joce Sterman speaks with the families of students whose lives were forever changed – or cut short – as the result of a hazing incident. She also reveals the complex structure of protections national Greek organizations have that often end in fraternity executives pushing oversight and blame to local chapters.
Hazed & Excused: Hazing on college campuses claims a life – and injures or humiliates countless others - almost every year yet government officials fail to enact strong laws to curb the problem. InvestigateTV analyzed state hazing laws across the country and found a patchwork of regulation that has done little to stop the annual campus rituals of abuse and humiliation. We also looked at confirmed cases at 33 schools where such reports are required to be public and found that fraternities account for the vast majority of cases. In one of the most heartbreaking and horrific stories of hazing, the parents of Penn State student Timothy Piazza talk about the death of their son during a fraternity pledging event and their advocacy to force more transparency around the issue. Piazza died in 2017. Others have followed his tragic fate.
Hazed & Excused: The Settlement: After the 2021 death of college student Stone Foltz, his parents pledged to end hazing for good. After reaching a historic multi-million-dollar settlement with Bowling Green State University just this month, the Foltzes are working on that promise – partnering in an education and reform effort with the university it sued, claiming the school was long aware of hazing activities in its Greek organizations, including the one where their son was given toxic amounts of alcohol that led to his death. Joce Sterman sits down with the Foltz family and their attorney as they call for an end to pledging altogether nationwide, something victim advocates and at least one major fraternity have said is necessary to stop the hundreds of injuries and deaths that result from hazing.
Hazed & Excused: Liability: We look at the complex structure of protections national Greek organizations have created to protect themselves from the legal and financial liability of hazing, binge drinking and sexual assaults. Those incidents have led to injuries and deaths at their local chapters - tragedies often stemming from traditions fraternity executives have long known were risky. One attorney who’s worked on wrongful death cases calls the entire structure a scam against fraternity members because the undergraduates are forced to pay for liability insurance that ultimately doesn’t protect them when something bad happens. Our team dives into the insurance systems and guidelines set up by dozens of national fraternities and shows also how the insurance premiums have become an asset and source of income for them. We also share the tragic story of a former fraternity member who’s still suffering the effects of a brutal hazing incident from half a decade ago.
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