Presidential Working Group Charge and Membership

On April 2, 2021, following the tragic death of Stone Foltz resulting from a hazing event, Bowling Green State University President Rodney Rogers announced the appointment of a presidential working group to build a framework for the University’s anti-hazing.


  • Maureen E. Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Professor, College of Education and Human Development
  • Chris Bullins, Dean of Students


  • Ben Batey, Chief Health Officer
  • Liz Chavez, J.D., Assistant General Counsel
  • Lakeshia Dowlen, Title IX Coordinator
  • Brian Heilmeier, Ph.D., Director of Student Engagement
  • Amy Swank, Director of Parent, Family and New Student Connections


In response to President Rogers’ charge to the working group, members convened throughout the spring and summer to build this framework for Bowling Green State University’s anti-hazing efforts.

On July 6, 2021, Ohio’s governor signed Senate Bill 126 into law, enacting Collin's Law: The Ohio AntiHazing Act. Collin’s Law increases criminal penalties for hazing, requires higher education institutions to develop an anti-hazing policy, and mandates training and reporting.

In anticipation of the passage of Collin’s Law, Ohio’s Inter-University Council Presidents adopted a set of anti-hazing principles toward the shared purpose of eradicating hazing at Ohio universities. The principles include guidelines for anti-hazing policy development and campus education and prevention strategies.

Our recommendations are clustered into four areas: (1) Policy Development and Implementation, (2) Reporting and Response, (3) Education and Prevention, and (4) Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) and the Office of Student Engagement. We make the following recommendations to bolster campus-wide anti-hazing efforts. Action on these recommendations will enhance our commitment to rid Bowling Green State University of all hazing activity and foster a learning community in which each member experiences belonging and respect.


  1. Adopt the proposed anti-hazing policy and update the Code of Student Conduct to prohibit violations of this policy. Hazing has long been prohibited under the Code of Student Conduct; we recommend this stand-alone policy to align clearly with Collin’s Law and to widely communicate the University’s zero-tolerance approach.
  2. Lobby the Ohio General Assembly to amend Ohio Revised Code 3345.22 and 3345.23 to include hazing as a qualifying offense of violence so that students convicted of the crime of hazing will be automatically dismissed from any Ohio public university in which they are enrolled and debarred from attending any other Ohio public university in accordance with the law.
  3. As required by Collin’s Law, (a) designate all University employees and volunteers acting in an official capacity as mandatory reporters of hazing and require training to educate them on this role and (b) maintain an up-to-date report, posted on the BGSU hazing prevention website, of all hazing incidents for the current and past five years.
  4. Appoint a standing working group to review and enhance policies and procedures as needed to address organizational misconduct. Currently, procedures for addressing misconduct are outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. This proposed working group will help formalize and clarify procedures specific to adjudicating misconduct by student groups (e.g., athletic teams, spirit groups, military organizations, honor societies, musical or theatrical ensembles, bands, clubs) and organizations.
  1. Appoint a new coordinator for student conduct to assist in the investigation and adjudication of student and student organization misconduct related to hazing. This position was approved and the search launched in early July 2021.
  2. Provide additional specialized training (e.g., through national training institute) for hazing investigators and their supervisor (i.e., staff in student conduct and the dean of students).
  3. Deploy updated strategies in support of the proposed anti-hazing policy, including:
    • Widely publicize and promote procedures to report all suspected hazing activity throughout the year Note: Reporting options are detailed in the Anti-Hazing Policy and include directions for reporting via law enforcement, the hazing reporting line (419-372-HAZE), the hazing report form (via See It. Hear It. Report It.), the Office of the Dean of Students and Human Resources.
    • Utilize revised Hazing Report Form that will be linked to the See It. Hear It. Report It. and hazing prevention websites prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Online reporting has been utilized for some time; this form was redesigned to gather more specific details related to alleged hazing.
  1. Create new Hazing Prevention Coordinator position reporting directly to the President and appoint BGSU Chief Health Officer Ben Batey as acting coordinator. Assess staffing needs necessary to implement hazing prevention initiatives. Appoint an advisory council to support the Hazing Prevention Coordinator, aid in on-going assessment of hazing prevention initiatives and ensure implementation of the recommendations contained in this report.
    • Upon receipt of a report of alleged hazing, the Hazing Prevention Coordinator or designee will:
    • Convene and coordinate meetings of a community enforcement workgroup to include designated University staff members, BGSU Police, city of Bowling Green Police, and the city and county prosecutor's offices to ensure collaboration and information sharing.
  2. (a) direct all communication efforts and ensure that police and all appropriate parties are notified of investigations.

    (b) assign the primary and secondary investigators, consult regarding the approach to investigation and interviews; and, with the assigned investigators, work closely with the police department with jurisdiction.

    (c) review each investigatory report before it is considered complete to ensure the investigation process has been conducted thoroughly; receive the Final Investigative Report from the primary investigator; and refer cases for resolution according to the Anti-Hazing Policy as appropriate.

  3. Direct the Hazing Prevention Coordinator to oversee the development of a comprehensive communication and training strategy to help eradicate hazing activity at BGSU. Three primary learning outcomes should continue to guide our hazing prevention efforts: (a) identify hazing acts, (b) know what actions to take if hazing is occurring (e.g., bystander intervention), and (c) understand the importance of and how to report hazing concerns in a timely and thorough manner. The University should enhance existing strategies (e.g., high-impact speakers who have experienced the effects of hazing) and develop new approaches as appropriate, including:
    • Promote a “Community of Care” framework to strengthen knowledge and skills across the University community and other constituents regarding alcohol and other drugs, hazing, mental health/well-being, and sexual misconduct and Title IX. Through these efforts, expand training for students, faculty, staff, parents and families; enhance strategic partnerships to foster a community of care; streamline programs and services; improve reporting and response; and assess our efforts. Under the leadership of our Chief Health Officer who also serves as Hazing Prevention Coordinator and using the Community of Care framework, approach student needs holistically to address the roots of these problems.
    • Development of a dedicated website and communication campaign to better promote BGSU’s Amnesty Policy.
    • Enhanced training and resources on hazing prevention and reporting to parents, families and alumni. The goal for this work is to expand our community of care by educating and empowering others who play a prominent role in the lives of students to know what constitutes hazing as well as how to report concerns to law enforcement and University officials.
    • Enhanced advisor training for all student organization advisors. This training helps advisors identify proactive steps to prevent hazing with a focus on recognizing the subtleties of social dominance. Training reiterates how to recognize, prevent and report hazing if it occurs, underscoring their responsibilities as outlined in the Anti-Hazing Policy.
    • Collaboration with the Department of Athletics, College of Musical Arts, and Office of the Dean of Students to create a plan for targeted anti-hazing education and training, intervention and hazing accountability concerning varsity athletes, club sports and the marching band.
    • Use a multilevel approach to provide additional education to better enable students to recognize hazing if they witness or experience it and to know where and how to report hazing activities or behaviors of concern. Modules on alcohol and other drugs, hazing, and how to report concerning behaviors will be mandatory for all first-year students and available for completion prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Students who do not complete the program are prohibited from participating in a student organization.
  1. Implement the FSL chapter commitment plan for Fall 2021. This plan assists the fraternity and sorority community in prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of chapter members and supports positive working relationships between the University and individual chapters. The plan requires each chapter to complete detailed action steps by established deadlines. The plan also requires training for chapter leaders and members.
  2. Review current recruitment practices to assess whether delayed or deferred recruitment creates a safer environment for those joining a fraternity or sorority and review new member education processes to determine if the University should implement a policy limiting the length of new member intake period. Delayed recruitment would take place 3-4 weeks after the start of the semester. Deferred recruitment is a policy that would prohibit first-year students from joining the fraternity and sorority community during their first semester or first year as a student. This review committee should also address plans to re-educate chapter leaders and members on alcohol-free recruitment policies.
  3. Increase interaction between FSL staff members and volunteer chapter advisors and inter/national headquarters staff. The focus of interactions with volunteer chapter advisors is to provide additional resources about University policies and procedures related to health and safety and to enhance their knowledge and skills. This multilevel approach involving roundtable discussions, electronic newsletters and meetings with advisors which aids FSL staff members in enhancing partnerships with the volunteer advisors and enhance safety in the community.
  4. Amend the advising portion of the relationship statement between FSL and inter/national headquarters, chapters, advisors and students. The Inter-University Council recommended that fraternity and sorority recognition agreements be amended to clarify and underscore the importance of inter/national oversight of local chapters. BGSU FSL’s relationship statement has been amended and will be shared with stakeholders prior to the start of the academic year. The amendment below has been added to the advising portion of the statement:

    National Oversight: As a condition of recognition, each organization must invite their headquarters or the equivalent to visit and evaluate their respective chapters at minimum of two (2) times each academic year. When a representative is visiting campus, they should meet with the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office. The meeting with the Fraternity and Sorority Life Office should be scheduled two weeks in advance.

  5. Restructure roles, responsibilities and time investments for FSL staff, including that FSL staff increase direct advising of chapter officers (e.g., recruitment chairs, new member educators) and decrease focus on governing councils. This approach will build the knowledge and skills of those in the best position to enhance the culture of individual fraternities and sororities and combat hazing.
  6. Enhance intentional relationships between the Office of Student Engagement, academic advisors and life coaches, and students who are members of a student organization or student group. During the 2021-2022 academic year, continue the pilot initiative launched in Spring 2021 within FSL. This coaching model for FSL includes advising and supporting (e.g., regular advising and outreach to an assigned caseload of new members to better understand their experiences, provision of resources and referrals to students or chapter of concern); student learning and development (e.g., engaging in efforts to ensure the fraternity and sorority community is aligned with the mission of the University and student needs while contributing to students’ learning, growth, and development); and technology.
  7. Furthermore, create an FSL new member tag that is visible on a student's Navigate profile. This will enable academic advisors and life design coaches to see a more holistic view of their advisee's university experience Assess this pilot program throughout the 2021-2022 academic year to understand the coaching experience for students and the evaluate the effectiveness of the new member tag. Make necessary adjustments to implement the program with other student populations (e.g., club sports, band, Dance Marathon) beginning Fall 2022.

Updated: 01/18/2024 03:40PM