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A pledge beating at Youngstown fraternity and the need to fit in

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excerpt:

The university has suspended the local chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Mary Madden, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine, is co-author of a study about hazing, which surveyed students from college campuses across the country.

“As far as why students participate, there’s lots of theories about that,” she said. “The need to belong — wanting to belong to something is a natural part of the development period for college students. Some will go to a great extent to be accepted or to belong.”

Jack Fahey, YSU vice president for student affairs, said that in some hazing situations, the behavior becomes viewed as normal because everyone is doing it.

“I can’t make sense of it for you, but that’s what some people think,” he said. “People think, ‘I would never let myself be subjected to anything like that.’ It doesn’t make sense, but it does happen.”

YSU junior Maurizio Nerone of New Springfield said he was shocked to learn about allegations of hazing connected to YSU that left a student hospitalized.

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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