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Clemson changes thanks to the Hipps activism: C.O.H. article

Changes at Clemson–Chronicle of Higher Education this week excerpt

When Tucker Hipps, a 19-year-old Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge at Clemson University, died during a run with members of the chapter in 2014, the university quickly took action, suspending all 24 of its fraternities’ initiation programs and hiring a consulting firm to review the Greek system. At the time, the Clemson Fraternity and Sorority Life department consisted of two full-time staffers and three graduate assistants.

AFTER THE REVIEW, CLEMSON INITIATED A FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE FEE, $60 A SEMESTER, THAT WAS ADDED TO THE TUITION OF ALL GREEK STUDENTS. THE FEE FUNDS TWO ADDITIONAL FULL-TIME STAFF MEMBERS, AN ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR, AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING AROUND HAZING AND ALCOHOL TO REDUCE RISKY BEHAVIORS.

While the additional fee was initially met with grumbling from students, Gary Wiser, director of fraternity and sorority life at Clemson, said it transformed how much programming and support his office could actually provide. “After the first semester it was implemented, after the students saw how much they were getting out of it, I think it just became part of the experience,” Wiser said.

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--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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