The Max Gruver Acts

The Max Gruver Acts

In March 2021, Georgia enacted the “Max Gruver Act” to reduce and prevent hazing rituals in the state’s colleges and universities. Max Gruver, a Roswell, Georgia native, had attended Louisiana State University for one month when he passed away in September 2017 from acute alcohol intoxication as a result of a hazing incident.

This legislation bans dangerous hazing to gain status in school organizations, such as fraternities, sororities, athletic teams, and any other club or a student group living together at Georgia’s public and private colleges and universities, or units of the Technical College System of Georgia. The Act expands the definition of hazing to include an activity which endangers, or is likely to endanger, the physical health of a student, or coerces a student using social or physical pressure to to consume any food, liquid, alcohol, drug, or other substance which subjects the student to a likely risk of vomiting, intoxication, or unconsciousness.

Georgia’s Max Gruver Act makes hazing a student in connection with, or as a condition or precondition of, gaining membership or other status in a school organization “a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature” that is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000.00, or both.

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Effective July 1, 2021, Georgia schools must also establish policies for reporting and investigating hazing incidents, and publicly disclosing administrative adjudications or related hazing or other criminal convictions. Additionally, information about the hazing incidents (name of the school organization involved, dates the hazing occurred, and a description of the findings, adjudications, and convictions) must be posted on the school’s website for a minimum of five years after final adjudication or conviction. However, the report must not include personal identifying information of the individual students involved, consistent with the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

In 2018, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed four hazing bills into law to address hazing on Louisiana campuses after Max Gruver’s alcohol-related hazing death:

  • HB793 requires universities and colleges that receive state funding to provide hazing prevention education to all incoming students, and fraternities and similar organizations to annually provide at least one hour of hazing prevention education to its current and prospective members.
  • HB78 — the "Max Gruber Act" created the crime of hazing — regardless of whether the person voluntarily allowed himself to be hazed or consented to the hazing — which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 5 years' imprisonment if the hazing results in death. This law also imposes fines of up to $10,000 on fraternities, sororities, associations, social clubs, athletic teams and similar groups on college or high school campuses that knowingly allow hazing.
  • HB 270 protects the identifying information of students who report code of conduct violations.
  • HB 446 makes it a criminal offense for a person at the scene of an emergency fails to seek or report the need for medical assistance for someone who has suffered serious bodily injury.

The Gruvers and other parents whose children died after being hazed have joined with the leaders of national fraternities and sororities to form The Anti-Hazing Coalition. Together, they are advocating for federal and state anti-hazing legislation similar to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving back in the 1980s and 90s.

Here’s How Vector Solutions Can Help

Hazing Prevention Education and Training

Vector Solutions can help you provide powerful education and training to faculty, staff, and students through our Vector LMS, Higher Education Platform. And, through the Vector LMS, institutions can customize our courses to include campus-specific resources, definitions, policies and procedures, and more.

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  • Hazing Awareness and Prevention [Faculty and Staff] - Designed to help employees understand what hazing is, explain why hazing occurs and educate best ways to identify and address hazing incidents. 
  • Hazing: Misconceptions and Pitfalls [Students] - Designed to break the cycle of hazing in Greek life, athletic teams, and other clubs and organizations on campus.

Anonymous Reporting Through Vector LiveSafe

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Vector LiveSafe empowers faculty, staff, and students to play a role in their institution's safety and security efforts. Vector LiveSafe provides students with the ability to quickly submit tips, anonymously or not, that are routed to the designated campus officials. Students can quickly report hazing incidents to designated officials and include pictures, videos, location data, and more. In addition, institutions can review and trend data to better understand overall campus safety.

Contact us for more information