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Lawmaker calls for hazing crackdown following student's death in Poconos

New York lawmakers propose Michael's Law

A  New York assemblyman is pushing legislation to crack down on hazing following a New York college student's death in the Poconos.

New York Assemblyman David I. Weprin is proposing a measure known as Chun "Michael" Deng's Law, named after the 19-year-old Baruch College student who died in a hazing ritual in Monroe County in December. The death was ruled a homicide.

The legislation would expand the current penal law by prohibiting all physical conduct and physical activities required from fraternities during the pledging ceremonies. Under this legislation, those who engage in activities that endanger the safety of themselves and their peers during the affiliation ceremonies would be guilty of hazing in the first degree. Hazing in the first degree is a class A misdemeanor and hazing in the second degree is a violation.

Deng, who lived in Weprin's district in Oakland Gardens, Queens, died as the result of a hazing ritual known as "glass ceiling," in which he suffered a massive head injury after he was blindfolded and forced to lug a knapsack loaded with 20 pounds of sand as fraternity members repeatedly pushed him down.

"The best way to honor the memory of Michael and other victims of hazing is to ensure that no college student is put in a situation in which their own safety is jeopardized. We must do all we can to prevent future senseless violence," said Weprin. "That's why, I introduced legislation to crack down on hazing and to prevent tragedies like this from reoccurring in schools throughout the state."

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