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20th anniversary of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing

Tomorrow (Oct. 1, 2009) is the 20th anniversary of my book Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing. How appropriate that the anniversary falls on the day that the Hazing Taskforce meets at the University of Maine. The book told the story of the death of Chuck Stenzel at Alfred University and how Eileen Stevens, Chuck’s mother, worked so hard to raise awareness and to influence hazing legislation in New York State. Alfred University subsequently conducted an important 1999 hazing study in 1999. One of the book’s readers, Elizabeth Allan, co-founded Stophazing.org and is a host of the Maine Taskforce where she serves as a professor. Other important people mentioned in that book (Dave Westol, Jonathan Brant, etc.) still fight the good fight, and Dave of Theta Chi will be in Maine for HazingPrevention.org. Others like Fred Kershner of Delta Tau Delta are long dead.

Read a speech by Mrs. Stevens

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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