who is c.l. lindsay?

In 1998, attorney C.L. Lindsay III left his practice in New York City to found the Coalition for Student & Academic Rights (CO-STAR). Since then, acting as its Executive Director, he has built CO-STAR into a national student rights organization that helps thousands of college students with their legal problems, free of charge, each year. C.L. is a nationally-recognized expert and leader in the field of student rights and academic freedom. He literally wrote the book on legal problems at colleges. The College Student’s Guide to the Law has become the definitive authority used by students, university counsel, and as a textbook for master’s and law courses nationwide. He graduated magna cum laude from Denison University and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan. In his spare time, he teaches courses in law and literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

why book hazing & the law?

In the early evening of  February 2, 2017, Tim Piazza, a Beta Theta Pi pledge at Penn State, ran “the Gauntlet”—a drinking based obstacle course that had long been used as part of the BTPs hazing ritual. He had 18 drinks in an 80-minute period. During the next 14 hours he fell multiple times, seriously injuring his abdomen and head. All the while, his brothers, rather than getting him medical help, kept him in the house in an attempt to avoid getting in trouble. Two days later Piazza died from his injuries. And even then, the fraternity members minds went to self-protection—deliberately erasing the house’s security footage from that night.

There’s a lot to unpack from Tim Piazza’s story: moral and leadership failings, misguided loyalties, legal ramifications, cultural problems. All are covered in C.L. Lindsay’s hazing lecture. But the core of the talk is the concept of interpersonal responsibility. When we talk about the law, it’s easy to start thinking that “so long as I’m not breaking any rules, what I’m doing must be okay”. But we forget that laws are meant to be MINIMUM standards of care, the least anyone is expected to do. Certainly teammates, brothers, sisters, all owe each other much, much more.

Topics covered include:

  • The applicable state and college-specific policies on hazing
  • Help students understand the true definition of hazing
  • Students will be taught about negligence, social host liability, assault, and battery charges that can arise in hazing situations
  • C.L. will address the culture that perpetuates hazing and give strategies—via ethical leadership—to eliminate it on your campus

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