For Pennsylvania college students, a new semester can bring both nerves and excitement. As a student attempts to find his or her niche, many are drawn to the appealing prospect of joining a fraternity or sorority. Unfortunately, a “pledge” must often complete a series of challenges to earn one’s spot, and some of these tasks can cause serious personal injury or even wrongful death.
The process, often referred to as “hazing,” caused at least one death last year. The student in question was required to drink a dangerous amount of alcohol, and was never able to recover. Often, less serious injuries go unreported, because a student is afraid to appear weak, or “uncool,” by their peers that have given the instructions, often senior members of the fraternity or sorority.
Pennsylvania governor Wolfe will sign new legislation addressing these dangerous parties. Now, any hazing that results in wrongful death or serious injury will be prosecuted as a felony. Campuses within the state will also need to enforce their own oversight to prevent further tragedy.
A wrongful death can change a family forever. Parents that were hoping to see their son or daughter flourish as they reach adulthood instead find themselves grieving a loss. When a wrongful death needs to be addressed, the family of a victim might do well to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney may be able to help families make sure those deemed responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and help them pursue recovery of any monetary damages by litigating a claim in civil court.