About 500 letters were written and signed in support of Collin’s Law during the week of April 5 at a letter-writing campaign sponsored by Ohio University’s Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.
From April 5 to April 9, OU students were outside Baker University Center urging fellow students and community members to write and sign a letter in support of Collin’s Law that will be sent to their respective senators in the coming weeks.
OU collaborated with 16 other Ohio colleges on the event, and many who worked and organized the event were happy with the student turnout that was received at OU.
Ariel Tarosky, director of Sorority and Fraternity Life, said the event surpassed her expectations. In total, Tarosky estimates the office received up to 500 letters, about 300 of which were handwritten at Baker over the five-day period students were tabling.
Tarosky said there was an average of about 50 letters signed per day on campus.
“I was really proud of everyone that came out,” Molly Davis, a junior studying public health who helped organize the event, said. “We had over 200 letters signed to different senators, which is amazing, because we definitely got our reach out all over Ohio.”
Not only were students and community members encouraged to participate, but a number of families visiting OU for campus tours took time out of their visit to participate in the event.
“I had a family come up to me that was somebody that knew Stone Foltz,” Davis said. “They came up and their high school student signed a letter, and I thought that was really special.”
The event also significantly impacted those who worked the tables outside Baker over the five-day period.
“Watching individuals come up to the table and sign letters was an extremely humbling, empowering experience that I’m so glad I got to help out with,” Mya Delaney, a sophomore studying early childhood education, said in an email. “I am so proud that such a large number of Greek life members understand the dangers of hazing and are taking the steps to ensure those in our community are safe and feel comfortable.”
At one point in the event, students working the tables ran out of envelopes, and Davis was responsible for folding and sealing the remaining letters. When folding the letters, Davis saw one that embodied the reason why the event was being held.
“There was one (letter),” Davis said. “We had a space where people could write whatever they wanted their senator to know, and it just said ‘I am a friend of Collin’.”
Tarosky said she is happy students were able to get their voices heard through the event and hopes that people will start having conversations about hazing education at OU.
Davis believes the most important thing to work on moving forward is improving the conversations that people in all organizations and within Greek life have regarding hazing.
“Within the Greek community, instead of making it a checkbox at the beginning of the semester where they have to talk about hazing, (our goal is) making it a continuous conversation, because it's not a one-and-done type thing,” Davis said. “It's something that needs to be frequently brought up so that things change.”
Tarosky said she hopes the letter-writing campaign will impact those who will make the decision on Collin’s Law.
“I hope that our legislators will see that the people that this is made to protect really care about this, and it'll just push them even more to get this passed and to get it passed quickly,” Tarosky said.