Since 2018, nearly half a dozen Mizzou fraternities have been cut off from campus life after violating university rules. But it’s clearly not enough—the harm done to Daniel Santulli is proof of that. ABC17 News reports that David Bianchi has called on universities to pass harsher rules to prevent further fraternity abuses.
“Universities need to send an unmistakable message to all of the fraternity members that if you haze and someone gets seriously injured or dies, you will be immediately expelled from the university, and it’s not just the person that does the hazing but it’s the entire network of fraternity members that made the hazing possible.” – Attorney David Bianchi
Rules that address the entire cohort of fraternity officers who facilitate hazing would incentivize safer policies and address the root of hazing: fraternity culture itself. Our experience with hazing cases has made it clear that hazing is not just the action of one or two wrongdoers. Hazing is a carefully preserved recruitment practice that creates a self-generating cycle of abuse until someone dies or suffers permanent harm. That’s why we called for charges against all the fraternity members who had a part in planning the event where Daniel Santulli was catastrophically injured.
Preventing hazing requires more than education or warnings (though these are important).
Preventing hazing requires making it the fraternity members’ self-interest to forbid hazing at their events.
When the consequences of hazing include immediate expulsion and potentially arrest, students will be more likely to police themselves and end the cycle of hazing abuse.