SC law addresses Greek org hazing

Tucker Hipps Transparency Act” is the popular name of a South Carolina law in the news. 2016 S.C. Act No. 265. Read more about who Tucker Hipps was and how his name became associated with this legislative act in The State, The Post and Courier, and the The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Highlights of the Act

The act is an attempt to address hazing and other misconduct by fraternities and sororities. It requires all universities in the state to keep records of student-conduct violations. S.C. Code Ann. § 59-101-210(A)(1). According to the Chronicle, several universities had already been doing this recordkeeping, but the law provides new specifications as to what information the records must contain, where the reports must be sent and posted, and how often the reports must be updated.

For instance, the act requires universities to publish reports of student-conduct violations in a “prominent location,” S.C. Code Ann. § 59-101-210(A)(6), on the university’s website and to provide a printed handout at student orientation, S.C. Code Ann. § 59-101-210(A)(7), with the web address of the report. As one example, the University of South Carolina publishes its report on the Organizational Student Conduct page.

Legal Research Perspective

Note the federal and state laws referenced in the text of the act. Law students, consider how this new state law (the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act) relates in different ways to an existing federal law (FERPA) and an existing state law (the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act).

Note also that the act expires June 9, 2019 if not extended or reenacted by the legislature. Advance warning to lawyers of the future: update your research by checking whether the legislature extends or reenacts the act, or lets it expire.