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Calls for change intensify after BGSU student dies due to alleged hazing

Students, parents, lawmakers and the governor are all calling for stricter hazing laws across the state of Ohio.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The recent death of a Bowling Green State University student is sparking many to call for changes at universities across the state. Those calls are coming everywhere from students and parents to lawmakers and the governor.

BGSU students protested on Tuesday to call for, among other things, a better system for reporting and stopping hazing.

“I’m sick and tired of all of this happening to college students,” said one of the protestors.

The state senator representing the district, Theresa Gavarone, is a Falcon to her core and is also working to try and bring about change.

“I live in Bowling Green,” says Gavarone. “I’m an alumni, my husband is an alumni and our son is a junior at Bowling Green State University. The idea of the bill is really to change campus culture and creates a new offense of aggravated hazing as well. It should be a felony.”

This latest call for stricter measures came after 20-year-old BGSU sophomore, Stone Foltz, died over the weekend. He was allegedly hazed and made to drink an abundance of alcohol during a fraternity pledge event.

Gavarone says, “It really hit close to home and shook me to the core.”

Gavarone has been working on this new legislation since bill 310, known as Collin’s law didn’t make it through the senate in time. That bill, named after Ohio University freshman, Collin Wiant who died at a fraternity house, would’ve strengthen penalties for bullying and hazing.

“It was my fear when it didn’t pass in the fall that we can introduce it in the new general assembly, but what if by then there’s another death in Ohio,” Kathleen Wiant, Collin’s mother, told NewsNation. “The fact that that happened just makes me so angry.”

Governor Mike DeWine is hoping legislation doesn’t stall out this time around. He held a meeting Tuesday with university presidents across the state gauging support and calling on them to lead the way for change.

“We did talk about the fact that there are roughly 11 or 12 other states that have this kind of legislation in place already,” says Kent State University President, Todd Diacon. “It’s time for Ohio to have it as well.”

You can hear more from Diacon below

It’s a change that many students, parents, the governor and lawmakers are hoping will take place very soon.

“Time is of the essence,” says Wiant. “We have to get this done and we have to get this done now.”

Gavarone says, “No parent should ever have to get that call.”

Police and the university are still investigating the incident that occured at Bowling Green last Thursday night, but the fraternity has been temporarily suspended during the process. Meanwhile, Gavarone and state senator, Stephanie Kunze are going to speak about the new bill at a press conference Wednesday morning. They’re hoping to get the bill introduced by the end of the week.

Watch below: BGSU students held a moment of silence for Stone Foltz on Tuesday

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