Herbert OKs bill targeting hazing-related deaths

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill intended to make fraternities and sororities think twice about hazing practices. House Bill 138 was signed on Saturday. It raises the penalty for a hazing-related death involving drugs and alcohol from a class B to class A misdemeanor. Bill sponsor Rep. Carol Spackman Moss says she doesn’t want students to be marked forever by poor decisions but she wants them to consider the serious consequences that could result from forced alcohol consumption. The Salt Lake City Democrat says her proposal could go a long way in protecting students like Michael Starks. Starks was an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University who died from alcohol poisoning in November 2008 while pledging to join the Sigma Nu fraternity.

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