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20th Anniversary of Tragic, Preventable, Risk-Management Disaster of Texas A & M Bonfire deaths approaches

Texas A & M bonfire. It had been 20 years since the most deaths in a campus “fun” tradition occurred. 12 people died and many more were injured in a “tradition” that was poorly supervised, ill conceived, and totally preventable. I still shake my head at the shortsightedness of alumni interests, campus president, administration, and risk management team. No, it was not hazing per se, but it certainly, as a bizarre and foolish campus tradition, has many of the flaws and illogical mind traps associated with hazing. The deaths should never have happened. Twenty years later, we remember the pain of families who lost their loved ones. And, for me, I regret all the good those twelve people might have done for themselves, family and country. The Texas A & M tragedy must never be forgotten as a cautionary tale for campus “traditions”–Hank Nuwer

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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