A bill requiring state public colleges to post misconduct violations by fraternities and sororities is heading to the S.C. House floor.
Two House panels approved the bill — dubbed the “Tucker Hipps Transparency Act” — Wednesday. The proposal is named after a Clemson University fraternity pledge whose body was found in Lake Hartwell after a predawn run with other chapter members in 2014.
Some colleges, including Clemson and the University of South Carolina, already post online sanctions against fraternities and sororities.
All S.C. public colleges would have to post misconduct reports by this fall, but they could seek a one-year waiver.
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If the bill passes the House and Senate, links to pages that list violations at all state universities would be on the S.C. Commission on Higher Education’s website.
Individuals who violate rules would not be named in the reports. Police reports associated with violations would be available with a state open-records request.
Other provisions would require colleges to:
▪ Post violations for alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, threats and hazing
▪ Rank fraternities and sororities based on the number of violations
▪ Update their violation reports at least 45 days before the fall and spring semesters start
▪ Post data going back to December 2010; records could be removed after seven years
USC now posts sanctions going back to 2011. Clemson’s records online start in 2014.
In a statement, Clemson said the bill will help students make decisions about which fraternity or sorority to join.
“We support the General Assembly’s efforts and conceptually agree with the intent of the legislation to ensure that the public, including students and parents, have information about organizations the students may wish to join,” the university said.
USC is “generally supportive” of the bill, spokesman Wes Hickman said. USC has started a review of student-organization conduct after three fraternity chapters were closed during the 2014-15 school year, including one after a pledge died from alcohol poisoning. A report is expected later in the spring.
A state Senate bill, backed by 27 sponsors, calling for a statewide task force to examine student conduct on college campuses has not moved since being introduced in the spring.