Hazing News

Chapter officers & advisers: The Lessons of Penn State (Tim Piazza). Drill for an emergency.

Moderator Hank Nuwer: The take-away from the filibustering by reluctant members addressing an alcohol-related emergency in the house is clear. While I obviously would prefer every house be (or remain) dry as the safest policy available, the only other wise alternative is to ask all Greek houses to put together an emergency management plan.

Officers and advisers must run an occasional drill in the event (hopefully, unlikely)  a worse-case situation should occur.  Just the way we all practiced fire drills in grade school, Greek houses should now run a serious, no-nonsense practice scenario simulating conditions as if  a member were in trouble due to illness or an alcohol or drug overdose. Here is a workable plan.

  1. Say, for example, during a party, a guest or pledge falls unconscious. One member quickly must simulate calling 911. Simultaneously, sober members need to get intoxicated members into their rooms away from the crisis. Leaving impaired members/pledges  there can cause arguments, a fight, and even a threat to the safety of trained rescuers.
  2. Other members search the house to see if a second pledge, member or visitor (or more) may be in similar danger. Rescuers should pretend one is found unconscious.  Again, a rescuer simulates a call to 911. The next step is to station members outside the house or apartment house who can direct rescuers to the crisis spot,
  3. During the drill, all should practice recognition of the signs that a friend is in trouble. He or she is snoring. Face color may be grey or bluish.
  4. To act in an emergency, members must learn to drill before an emergency actually happens.
  5. Remember. A delay of even a few seconds can be fatal. Tim Piazza’s PSU chapter delayed  12 hours before club members call 911.
  6. Encourage other fraternity and sorority houses to perform similar drills.
  7. Consider inviting a trained professional who can conduct a simulated drill for a drug or alcohol overdose. Regards and be safe and protect one another, Hank Nuwer


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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.