The Maryland Senate unanimously approved a ten-fold increase in the criminal fines that could be levied for hazing rituals at college campuses.

The measure would raise the fine for the offense from $500 to $5,000. Under the bill, hazing would remain a misdemeanor offense with a possible sentence of up to six months in jail. The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.

Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, pushed the law in the wake of a report of extreme hazing rituals at a fraternity at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore. That came on the heels of Towson University suspending its entire cheerleading team last fall over unspecified hazing violations.

ecox@baltsun.com