Hazing is not just a student and education problem – it is a society problem. There have been attempts to address the problem, such as educational programming, adopting anti-hazing policies in schools, and condemning hazing through legislatures. However, these attempts, including Ohio’s 1983 anti-hazing statute, only punish the hazing as an “act;” put differently, these approaches characterize hazing as an activity that someone does to someone. But after considering human development and the reality of how hazing has materialized in our communities, hazing is not something done do people, but why something is done to them.

For example, consider an Ohio college student who is paddled by his fraternity brothers to the point of requiring hospitalization. There is doubt that the young man is the victim of hazing. This has two parts: an act and a mindset. The “act” done is assault – paddling. The “mindset” is the reason why this assault occurred – for initiation into a group.

Hazing is a mindset, a rationale, a reason, and a purpose. This Comment proposes changing Ohio’s anti-hazing statute, and thus proposes changing society’s approach toward hazing eradication, by not punishing the “act” of hazing, but the “reason” an act occurred. By comparing hazing with other motive-based legislation, this Comment proposes language to amend the Ohio Revised Code to create a penalty-enhancement scheme. This approach not only permits society to condemn illegal conduct associated with hazing – such as assault – but also the reason why this already-condemned behavior occurs.