Tucker Hipps’ mom speaks on namesake transparency law

Tucker Hipps
Tucker Hipps

A new state law requires colleges to post Greek life conduct violations on their websites.

Governor Haley signed the “Tucker Hipps Transparency Act” Thursday. It’s named after the Clemson student who died following a pledge run in 2014.

Friday, 7 News’ Addie Hampton sat down with Hipps’ mother, Cindy, who’s been fighting non-stop to get this law passed.

“I have people tell me that all the time, “oh, Tucker’s so proud of you.” And I think he would be proud of us,” she said.

Cindy Hipps raised her son to fight for the little guy. It’s a quality she said he possessed in life as a Boys State counselor and a friend to many. It’s a legacy she and husband, Gary, chose to protect following Tucker’s death.

For more than a year, they’ve fought to make infractions made by fraternity and sorority members more transparent by requiring universities to post the information on their websites.

“Hold the organizations responsible by transparency. That gives us the tool to say, “No, I don’t want to belong to this organization because they have problems,” said Hipps.

Hipps said this information could have been a game changer when Tucker pledged a fraternity at Clemson.

Now, it’s the law. Its passage through the Senate on the last day of this year’s session was nothing short of a miracle, said Hipps.

“I understand that at 5pm, if it’s not signed by the house that initiated the bill then the bill would die and, so, it was minutes before 5 that that vote occurred. So, it was a miracle,” she said.

Next, Hipps said she wants to tackle hazing and looks forward to signing on with lawmakers to increase penalties for violators.

“Right now, hazing in South Carolina is a misdemeanor and I think if someone dies during a Hazing incident that it should carry a bigger sentence,” said Hipps.

Hipps said all the work they do is getting them slower closer to a day when they can feel peace.

“I do feel good that, one day, we’ll be able to have a moment where we can actually honor Tucker in our hearts and not think about how he died, but why he died,” said Hipps.

Now, Hipps said they are choosing to focus on how Tucker lived and less about his death. Friday, they are presenting the 2nd annual Tucker Hipps Scholarship to a senior counselor at Palmetto Boys State in his memory.

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