30+ National Organizations Endorse the REACH Act
August 10, 2021
Last month over 30 organizations joined Clery Center, StopHazing, and Safe Campuses, LLC, in signing a coalition letter urging Congress to prioritize the REACH Act. The breadth of organizations represented in this letter underscores not only the vast support for the REACH Act, but the intersection of hazing with other campus safety concerns such as sexual assault and mental health.
Fifty-five percent of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.1 Hazing is a threat to the health and safety of students due to its intimidating, harassing, and often violent nature2, and at extremes, hazing is lethal. In March of 2007, Gary and Julie DeVercelly’s son, Gary DeVercelly Jr., died as a result of hazing at Rider University. As Clery Center board members, they have been tireless advocates to ensure no parents have to experience this unbearable—and preventable—loss. Tragically, hazing continues to have a lasting impact on individuals, families, and communities across the country.
The REACH Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill, would make hazing a Clery reportable crime and require evidence-informed prevention education at institutions of higher education. This legislation will help to:
- Shift societal norms and structures that contribute to campus environments where hazing is more likely to occur.
- Provide the public with more reliable information about hazing incidents and trends at an institution and nationwide.
- Support colleges and universities in taking an evidence-based approach to campus hazing prevention.
- Keep students safe.
Despite the global pandemic requiring many institutions of higher education to operate remotely last academic year, hazing continued. In 2021, three more young lives have been tragically lost due to alleged hazing incidents and countless more have been negatively impacted. As we look to the beginning of a new academic year with continued unprecedented challenges, institutions are preparing for a potential surge in risky and harmful behaviors, including hazing, as students eagerly return to in-person interactions and events.
As we have said many times before—federal legislation to address hazing is long overdue, and while we wait, lives continue to be lost. Please support the REACH Act by contacting your senators and representatives today using this form. If your organization would like to join the growing list of supporters and endorse the REACH Act, click here.
For more information about the REACH Act, including a concept paper on why it’s an important initiative, visit StopHazing.
1Allan, E. J., & Madden, M. (2008). Hazing in view: College students at risk. https://stophazing.org/research/national-hazing-study-hazing-in-view/
2StopHazing Research Lab. (2020, December). Hazing: The Issue. StopHazing Consulting. https://www.stophazing.org/intersections
- AHA! Movement
- American Association of Suicidology
- America’s Promise Alliance
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
- Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors
- Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
- Bolster Collaborative, Inc.
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- End Rape On Campus
- It’s On Us
- National Association of People Against Bullying
- National College Athlete Honor Society, Inc.
- National Council for Mental Wellbeing
- National Education Association
- National Federation of State and High School Associations
- National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
- National Women’s Law Center
- NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation
- Positive Coaching Alliance
- Public Justice
- Robert D Champion Drum Major for Change Foundation
- Soteria Solutions
- Stop Bullying Now Foundation Inc.
- The Jed Foundation
- The Youth Mental Health Project
- Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform
- Tyler Clementi Foundation
- Ujima Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
- VTV Family Outreach Foundation, Inc.