Hazing News

Brutal BGSU sorority hazing and Norwich alleged female sports hazing considered

Here is the link to Inside Higher Education for April 5, 2022


Consequences of Hazing

Drawing on his research, Nuwer suggests “hazing has always been around” at Norwich. He points to violent hazing incidents there in 2008 and a “toxic culture” that’s still in place.

“If you have a culture where manliness and female toughness are going to be rewarded and veterans say, ‘We’ve got a good one,’ hazing is going to flourish,” Nuwer said.

He and others also note the prevalence of alcohol in such incidents. In the most severe hazing cases, particularly those that end in injury or death, alcohol is often a factor.

“The more we can reduce alcohol use, the less likely they are to engage in hazing with alcohol,” Sasso said. “So it won’t stop hazing, but it’ll reduce the alcohol use in the hazing process, which is how most students die or get injured during the hazing process. If you look at all of the hazing cases where there has been a student death, almost all of them involve alcohol in some way.”

Despite increased parental activism, hazing remains a staple of college life, popping up in fraternities and sororities, in athletic teams, and in various other student organizations. Oftentimes, the consequences vary according to state law, meaning there is no standard for punishing hazing.

Some states—such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia—have introduced laws to crack down on hazing. But Nuwer notes that universities also have a responsibility to act, just as Bowling Green did in expelling a fraternity and a sorority for hazing. He also pointed to the University of Vermont, which canceled an entire hockey season after its men’s team was caught up in a hazing scandal years ago.

Experts say such consequences, along with continuing education, are important. And as state laws and concerned parents take a stronger stand against hazing, universities are taking notice.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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