Hank Nuwer is a journalist and author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives whose specialty is hazing as an international human rights abuse issue and school safety issue. His first investigative story on hazing appeared in 1978 for Human Behavior Magazine. His novel is Sons of the Dawn: A Basque Odyssey (Shalako Press), a book that includes bullying and hazing in the American West as a theme. He contributes regularly to the Buffalo State College Hank Nuwer Collection and BSC Hazing Collection under BSC archivist Dan DiLandro. A founding board member of HazingPrevention.org, he contributes to its annual Hank Nuwer antihazing hero awards.
[“Hazing: an abominable practice in which participants/victims sometimes die, and that very death overshadows their precious lives. The practice, even when not life threatening, causes hazers to act shamefully as the equivalent of domestic abusers and teaches victims that passivity, not activism, is the path to travel for group acceptance. It was popular at Wittenberg and encouraged there by Martin Luther. It is an outdated, sometimes deadly, always wrong practice that ruins character instead of building it as Greek Life, athletics, band, and professional affiliations profess to want in the membership.” –Hank Nuwer]
Hank graduated from Buffalo State College (B.S.) and New Mexico Highlands University (M.A.); he has an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York (Buffalo State, 2006) and taken additional graduate coursework at the University of Nevada and Hamline University. Ball State University awarded him its doctoral equivalency for his research and publications in 1986 and elected him in 2010 to the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame. He is married to Malgorzata (Gosia) Wroblewska-Nuwer, an accountant executive for an international firm. He has two grown sons and two grandchildren. Gosia has one grown daughter. Hank and Gosia’s black Labrador retriever named Casey died peacefully on April 17, 2018.. They live in Indiana and Warsaw, Poland, and vacation near their Alaska twenty acres.
This blog covers his passion for keeping young people safe by covering hazing as a school safety issue and tracking hazing deaths from school, military and other nations.
He is best known for his young adult and scholarly books on the topic of hazing in society including Hazing: Destroying Young Lives (forthcoming from Indiana University Press), Wrongs of Passage, High School Hazing, Broken Pledges, and The Hazing Reader. Early in his career, he worked as a freelance writer with photographer Max Aguilera-Hellweg, now a freelance video artist and contributor to National Geographic magazine. His early book, Rendezvousing with Contemporary Authors has interviews with David Mamet, William Least Heat Moon, Kurt Vonnegut, Rosemary Rogers, James Dickey, John Jakes, Maurice Sendak and many other writers. He has written books suitable for teens including Sons of the Dawn, High School Hazing, The Legend of Jesse Owens, Steroids and To the Young Writer.
Curator: Daniel DiLandro
Donations: Hank Nuwer accepts NO contributions and any given will be returned or donated to the causes below. If you find all this hard work and research on hazing useful, please purchase my books or contribute to the causes below:
Hank’s personal gifts, among others, go to the Hank Nuwer Collection, Hank Nuwer Hazing Collection at Buffalo State.
Hank also contributes to the Hank Nuwer Antihazing Hero Awards for HazingPrevention.org
Quotes from Hank Nuwer:
–“As with most hazing incidents, when a death occurs, both reckless disregard and the absence of common sense are to blame.” Hank Nuwer
–If a judge sentenced a hazer condemned to death to drink Everclear until he died, it would be cruel & unusual punishment. Can’t a hazer see asking a pledge to drink is cruel, unusual? –Hank Nuwer
–The worst hazers have always, to me, looked upon pledges as property, not precious human beings eager to be accepted and mentored.
“There is no acceptable level” of hazing in high school or college sports, says Hank Nuwer, who has written several books about hazing as a social problem and lectured on the subject at colleges nationwide. What sometimes is referred to as good-natured hazing “is an oxymoron,” said Nuwer, 71, professor of journalism at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. “It only takes one player to have that permission to take things out of bounds.”
–We pull for characters in a book because they really want something. The club/team that really doesn’t want to end hazing will never stop.–Hank Nuwer from new book: Hazing, Destroying Young Lives (Indiana Univ. Press, 2018).
–How to KNOW if a fraternity is responsible? Trust Aristotle who wrote: What are their habitual actions? Know the actions, know the chapter. –Hank Nuwer
–You and I one day will die sober. Sadly, that’s a gift that parents of hazing victims cannot say about their lost precious children. –Hank Nuwer, Statehousebureau.com
–Why do so many young people literally die to belong to fraternities, sororities, and other college social organizations? The answer is complicated, but here is a starting point: Ever since the medieval universities were founded, young people have done whatever it takes to gain acceptance, to break with their past lives, to achieve a sense of power, to carve out a society of their own that isn’t quite what their tutors and teachers had in mind. In the United States, hazing and drinking have been endemic since colonial days. From Hank Nuwer, Wrongs of Passage.
–Hazing is an extraordinary activity that, when it occurs often enough, becomes perversely ordinary as those who engage in it grow desensitized to its inhumanity. From Hank Nuwer, Wrongs of Passage.
–Few of us go through life without taking part in some kind of rite of passage. From Hank Nuwer, Wrongs of Passage
–In 2019, unless college students wake up and police their own kind, North America will experience 60 nonstop years of hazing deaths. From Hank Nuwer, the Statehouse Bureau.com