Maryland Senate votes to increase penalties for college hazing

The Maryland Senate on Wednesday passed a measure that would increase the penalties for college hazing.

The bill – sponsored by Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery) — would raise the fine for hazing from $500 to $5,000. The measure would not increase the amount of jail time – up to six months – or alter the definition of hazing, which involves creating any situation that exposes a person to serious bodily harm as a condition of joining a campus organization.

Raskin, during Tuesday’s floor debate, said university administrators called for higher penalties against hazing to help stop the practice, saying that the previous $500 fine represented little more than the price of a weekend’s worth of beer for some fraternal organizations.

The measure, which passed 46-0 without debate, now goes to the House.

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