Governor, university system leaders working to curb hazing on campuses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana university system leaders addressed the media Thursday afternoon about state policies regarding hazing on all Louisiana college campuses.

The press conference comes after a meeting between Gov. Edwards and the university systems presidents to discuss efforts to promote a positive and safe learning environment.

Edwards said officials have an obligation to parents and students to ensure that students are able to come to Louisiana to get their education in safe environments on the state's university and college campuses,

"The best thing we can do is to keep talking and have that talk result in action so that we are not just striving to do better as we move forward, but that we actually do better. We're committed to that in Louisiana and I'm confident that our system presidents in our higher education community share that sentiment," Edwards said.

"Hazing is not a rite of passage," he said.

Maxwell Gruver, 18, of Roswell, Georgia, died after an alleged hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity sometime on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.

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Ten individuals were arrested in connection with Gruver's death.

LSU President F. King Alexander said there is a dialogue about hazing going on, not only through Louisiana, but throughout the country to see what best practices can curb hazing.

"There's more than a small national dialogue on this issue that's underway, because everyone's looking to share what the best practices are out there," Alexander said.

While some national Greek organizations are more hands-on with their chapters, Alexander said, others are more detached and he wished those organizations would be more involved and help enforce their own policies on hazing.

He also called on alumni to ensure hazing and other dangerous behavior gets eradicated.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette suspended four fraternities after LSU began its investigation into Gruver's death.

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