Writer Journal: I have an idea for a national hazing awareness project while I still have mobiity, energy and passion and health. My friend Ray who directed my play had a “blue sky” suggestion that I have been thinking about taking further than he had imagined. Wouldn’t it be an amazing awareness thing to travel across the country from the East Coast to the West Coast on an unpaid sabbatical in a van with Dogzilla from August 2014 to August 2015 putting on different versions (Greek, athletic, high school) of my one-man play on hazing? (I had an Indiana library grant a decade ago to take a talk to schools and libraries at night, and son Adam came along as techie). The goal would be OPENLY to challenge that educators and students and coaches would sign a pledge that 2014-2015 would be, at the end, as hazing free as the nation can make it. If you have any places that give education grants, let me know. Of course I would document everything by blog and vlog and do a book and documentary movie called “Travels with Dogzilla,” while working in the evening on my other book projects. Don’t scoff. My favorite song is “Deacon Blues” by Steely Dan (“This one’s for real, I already bought the dream.”). And Dan Bureau at AFA took my challenge to start a hazing think tank and with Charles G. Eberly and many other Greek leaders, pulled it off. My goal would be to break even. Perhaps local newspapers would review the performance, and thereby would create public awareness. Ideas beget suggestions and other ideas and constructive criticism. If I can’t pull it off, then I’ll try writing a novel about an old man who does just this! Dare to dream BIG?
By Hank Nuwer
Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.