Hazing News

Chuck Stenzel 30th anniversary of tragic death at Alfred University

2008 marks the 30th year since Chuck Stenzel died pledging Klan Alpine (now abolished) at Alfred University (NY).

Statement by Eileen Stevens:

Today, forty four states have outlawed hazing.

Sadly, many of these statutes have ambiguous language, and are difficult to enforce.

Those few that have been tested in the courts to date have not served as sufficient deterrents to those determined to haze in the misguided name of tradition.

The reality is that kids, in New York and all other states, keep getting hazed. Some have died, and many have been seriously injured physically and/or psychologically.

Because of secrecy and peer pressure, most incidents go unreported.

As Security on Campus has shown, too many institutions and organizations avoid bad publicity at any cost…and do not sufficiently educate or punish when hazing occurs.

Often the cost is the safety of our students. We need more aggressive legislation such as the proposed New York hazing law with specific definitions, that will make those involved accountable. Lukewarm penalties don’t work to end hazing.

Isn’t it time that those young students whose futures were taken needlessly and recklessly, are honored and vindicated by a tough New York law that will deter hazing in any form.

My beloved son Chuck Stenzel will be dead 30 years this month. One of the earliest New York hazing laws was named the Chuck Stenzel law in his honor.

My prayer is that New York finally puts a law into place that is a stiff law, that will stop hazers in their tracks……or have them imprisoned to carry a permanent record as felons.

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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