Victims of college hazing rituals testified before the state Senate on Thursday, on behalf of a bill that would increase the penalty for violent hazing in Maryland. State Sen. Jamie Raskin introduced the bill, which would raise the maximum fine from $500 to $5,000.
The same bill was considered last year, but with the spat of hazing incidents (at Bowie State, Towson University, and Coppin State, for example) since then, Raskin figures it’s got a better chance this year.
In one high profile incident from 2011 that made headlines a few months ago, Towson student Brad Notaro and his fellow pledges of Pi Lambda Phi were subjected to hazing that sent several of them to the hospital. Notaro himself recalled being forced to stay awake for days on end, and wound up collapsing in the university library.
An investigation by the Baltimore Sun revealed many heart-wrenching hazing incidents at colleges across the state. In one such incident, a fraternity pledge was order to punch a board 64 times or until his knuckles bled, whichever came last. Afterward he couldn’t type or drive a car and showed signs of nerve damage.
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