Washington State University says it’s already in the process of implementing anti-hazing legislation signed into law Wednesday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1751 was dubbed “Sam’s Law” after Sam Martinez, a freshman WSU student from Bellevue who died from alcohol poisoning while pledging the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity in 2019.

“Washington State University actively participated in the development of this important law,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said. “We fully support the new requirements and while many of them already are part of our policies, we are enhancing them and implementing other aspects before the next academic year begins in August.”

Sam’s Law serves to prevent instances of hazing at the state’s higher education institutions.

Sam Martinez in his senior portrait.
(Courtesy of Jolayne Houtz and Hector Martinez)

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The bill creates requirements beginning in the fall for colleges to provide hazing education and training to students and employees, including during orientation sessions. It also requires students and employees to publicly report allegations of hazing by any student organization, athletic team or living group.

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WSU publicly posts information online about conduct violations by fraternities and sororities as well as pending investigations, as required in the new law.

The university is also developing anti-hazing training for students and staff, which will be implemented next semester.

“We are looking forward to broadening our efforts to reinforce that regardless of context, Washington State University prohibits hazing in any form,” said Jill Creighton, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students. “We are ready to undertake this work and continue to demonstrate our values and community standards in cooperation with our university community.”

As a result of Sam’s Law, fraternities and sororities at Washington universities also have new requirements for transparency.

These include notifying the higher education institutions when the organizations are conducting investigations and report the findings of those investigations, as well as providing more information to the public about the chapter’s conduct history.