Hazing News

Adam Zwecker’s story at Cornell

Link to a must-read article
Excerpt from Cornell Sun:

Effects of Hazing Last Long After Pledging Proccess

  Adam Zwecker ’04 stood tired and barefoot on shards of broken glass with the rest of his fraternity pledge class. For seven hours, Zwecker and his pledge mates had been pelted by eggs and forced to do push-ups by the brothers at his chosen fraternity, activities designed to initiate aspiring members into the organization. The exercise may sound extreme, but it was just another night of hazing for a pledge class in 2001.

“That was one of the nights when you go home and you wonder, ‘What the hell am I doing?’” Zwecker said. “The frat brothers tried to justify it by saying that it would build unity for us, but it was kind of just a stupid, gross experience.”

Zwecker’s story is posted in detail at, a University-operated website designed to foster community awareness about the incidence of hazing on campus. Hazing incidents like those experienced by Zwecker would ultimately inspire Susan Murphy, vice president for student and services, to appoint a Task Force on Hazing in 2001. That group would eventually recommend the launch of the University’s hazing website four years later.

Along with an account of Zwecker’s experience, originally compiled by Zwecker himself as part of an independent study research project in 2003, the site also features a list of recent hazing violations and a mechanism for making anonymous reports of hazing to University officials. Tim Marchell, director of mental health initiatives at Gannett Health Services, played an integral role in the development of the website. He explained that hazing is an important issue that continues to affect the Cornell campus and that the issue needed to be addressed in the public sphere.

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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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