Every year, universities nationwide kick off the school year by observing “Anti-Hazing Week,” a nationwide awareness campaign to help prevent hazing on campus. Attorney David Bianchi—a leading authority on anti-hazing legislation and litigation—has been invited to speak at Anti-Hazing Week events for years.
The purpose is simple: to help students grasp the horrifying consequences of ‘normal’ hazing.
While hazing is still a severe problem on campuses nationwide, we’re glad to say that the audiences for these events have only grown. Case in point: David spoke at Ohio University this past week to a crowd of 950 fraternity and sorority members about his experience investigating hazing injury and death.
Specifically, he told the stories of two young men: Daniel Santulli and Andrew Coffey.
Andrew and Danny suffered grievous and inexcusable abuse while pledging for a fraternity. Although hundreds of miles separated them, they were forced to endure the same hazing tradition: “the family bottle.” Andrew suffered fatal alcohol poisoning from being coerced into drinking an entire liquor bottle alone. Danny thankfully survived, but he suffered the worst hazing injury in history. As a result of his hazing abuse, Danny lost his sight, cognitive abilities, and independence—likely for the rest of his life.
In his presentation, David showed the students interview clips, photos, and security footage recovered from the news and police, discussing how Andrew’s death and Danny’s injuries were caused by the cold neglect of their fraternity ‘brothers.’ He also discussed the impact suffered by their families—years after the fact.
We sincerely hope these stories serve as powerful deterrents to any hazing traditions that might occur on Ohio University’s campus this year and for years to come.