Years after ASU fraternity pledge’s death, anti-hazing law signed by Gov. Ducey
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- After years of being one of the only states in the country without anti-hazing legislation, Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2322 into law this afternoon.
The bill is known as Jack’s law in reference to Jack Culolias, a 19-year-old ASU student who died ten years ago after drinking too much at an ASU fraternity pledge event. This bill doesn’t just make hazing illegal; in some cases, it makes hazing a felony. “You will be penalized. You will go to jail now. Thank god,” Jack’s mother, Grace, said. “Because it has to stop.”
Grace feels gratitude and gratefulness about this bill being passed. But she’s also frustrated that it took so long for the state to sign it into law. “It’s ridiculous that these kids can force this kind of injury, torture to another child,” she said.
Nearly ten years after Jack’s body was found in Tempe Town Lake, this legislation bearing his name forbids physical and emotional acts of hazing. In addition, it will ensure these guidelines are included in every student handbook in our state.
“This bill deals with planning in hazing, or actually engaging in hazing,” Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh (R-District 23) said. “And those are misdemeanor levels.”
But Kavanagh says if injuries occur, those responsible could be charged with assault. If someone dies, manslaughter. “I don’t want any other parent to have to deal with this,” Grace said.
To deal with the memories of a loved one gone before their 20th birthday. “He was the life of the party,” brother Alex said. “Always had a smile on his face. Everyone liked my brother.”
While Jack is an example of a life lost far too soon, he’s also a symbol of positive change. Grace believes that wherever he is right now, he’s smiling. “Alex and I always talk, you know what? That’s Jack!” Grace said. “I always feel like he has his hand in a lot of this. Guiding us, pushing us.”
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