Ohio University and 16 other colleges hosted a letter-writing campaign beginning Monday in support of Collin’s Law.
From April 5 through April 9, students will be stationed outside Baker University Center to provide anyone interested with the tools to email or mail a letter to their state representative or senator regarding Collin’s Law.
Those stationed at the tables urged students who passed them to take a minute and fill out a letter. Molly Davis, a junior studying public health and who helped organize the event, said she even asked high school students who were touring campus to participate.
Students were provided with a template letter when they arrived at Baker in which they could provide a personal story relating to hazing or explain why Collin’s Law is important to them and send it to their respective state senators, according to a previous Post report.
Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Ariel Tarosky organized the campaign and invited other universities across Ohio to take part.
“I believe, someone came to (Tarosky) with the idea, and then she reached out to OSU…and then they reached out to these other universities across Ohio, and I think it blossomed from there, but it did start at Ohio University,” Collin Wiant’s mom, Kathleen Wiant, said.
Maire Conlan, a sophomore studying sociology-criminology who helped work the event Monday, thinks hazing gives Ohio a poor reputation.
“Ohio is one of the leaders in hazing incidents and deaths, and I feel like that doesn't represent who we are as a community or campus,” Conlan said. “In the news, when you see a hazing death, so often it's from Ohio. It hurts because I have so much pride from being here, but other people see us as like an epicenter of this.”
Ryan Gwin, a sophomore studying early childhood education, participated in the letter writing campaign Wednesday. Gwin said he is glad to see Greek life getting involved with Collin’s Law.
“I just think it's something that shouldn't be going on here, or any school, and I’m glad that my — and other sororities and fraternities — are stepping up and trying to work for a good or better cause,” Gwin said.
Davis emphasized how hazing can happen in numerous contexts.
“Hazing is not just alcohol and substance abuse-related accidents,” Davis said. “It can be emotional, it can be physical, it can be anything like that, so that's why we're here today and that's why we'll be here all week.”
State Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, who drafted the bill last year, said Greek life should still be at universities in Ohio, but they need to be held accountable.
“We're not trying to disband them, we just think that people should be held accountable when things get out of hand, such as what happened in Collin Wiant’s case,” Edwards said.
With this campaign, Kathleen Wiant said she wants legislators to listen to students.
“I want the legislators to hear from students, which is the end result from this,” Kathleen Wiant said. “I think we're at the point where the students are being very loud, very vocal and saying that they've had enough of hazing and that they're done with it.”