Greenville Family Sparks Hope for Stricter Anti-Hazing Laws with Lawsuit Against College of Charleston

GREENVILLE, S.C. – A recent lawsuit filed in January by a Greenville family against the College of Charleston and one of its fraternities has reignited the discussion surrounding hazing and the need for stricter anti-hazing laws in South Carolina. Cindy Hipps, who tragically lost her son Tucker in 2014, believes that this lawsuit could push for the implementation of more comprehensive legislation to combat hazing practices. While some argue that locking up students may not be the solution, Hipps sees stricter penalties as a necessary deterrent.

The case stems from the death of Tucker Hipps, who was a pledge at the Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon at Clemson University. Tucker was found dead after going on a morning run with 27 other pledges in 2014. His untimely death prompted the passage of the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act, which requires four-year public institutions in South Carolina to publicly disclose reports of misconduct findings involving fraternity and sorority organizations.

However, Hipps believes that more needs to be done. She emphasizes the importance of passing state laws that treat hazing as more than a mere misdemeanor offense. While South Carolina lawmakers discussed stricter hazing laws during the last legislative session, no significant progress was made. State Representative Jason Elliot acknowledges the urgency of addressing this issue and advocates for stiffer penalties.

The lawsuit filed by the Greenville family has the potential to reignite the conversation around the severity of hazing incidents and the need for stricter legislation. Hipps urges lawmakers to prioritize the safety and well-being of students, emphasizing that the protection of the younger generation should be a top priority. She firmly believes that passing legislation to combat hazing is a necessary step and an obvious decision.

Although it remains uncertain whether the issue can be addressed this year, Representative Elliot is confident that it will be a topic of discussion in the near future. The lawsuit serves as a reminder that hazing is an ongoing problem and necessitates immediate attention. With continuous efforts and a renewed focus on combating hazing, South Carolina can take significant strides in fostering safer environments within educational institutions.