RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The bill being championed as “Adam’s Law” (SB 439) has passed unanimously in the Virginia Senate. It’s one of two anti-hazing bills honoring Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Adam Oakes, who died at a fraternity event last year.
On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Senate passed the bill after a 38-0 vote.
The bill will move into the House after Crossover, which is the midpoint of the General Assembly session.
Another bill set to be considered this week would give immunity to bystanders who ask for help when hazing is happening. It also toughens the criminal charge if a victim is seriously injured or dies. “The idea is to deter the bad behavior and when you see something happen, say something. Step up,” Eric Oakes, Adam’s father told WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, on Monday, Jan. 24.
The criminal charge would shift from a misdemeanor to a felony, which can carry a 10-year sentence.
The Oakes family said the bill will save lives in the Commonwealth if it’s passed.