Hazing News

Commentary by Moderator

Reading several letters from parents who lost their chidren to hazing 1978 to 1990 and one from 2009. They are discouraged, disheartened, and who can blame them? Dr. Fred Kershner of Delta Tau Delta, an early mentor, told me at the end of his life that he was close to removing his lifelong commitment to fraternity life. University controls need tightening. National fraternity controls need tightening. I am in favor of legislators making hazing deaths at least as on a par with the killing of highway workers in vehicular accidents. This is not a generation issue unless we understand this is an issue going back to Harvard College in the 1600s. At my age I am not out to make or lose friends, just stop the deaths. Band, fraternity, athletics–who cares? Dying for a group is a bad way to go. I actually feel bad for the kid who survived a death-level of alcohol at UT-Knoxville only to become a national joke himself. Do we all need to be regarded as enemies by the undergraduate hazers? If that stops one death or close call, put me #1 on the enemies list. The deaths by hazing and alcohol abuse on campus have become truly offensive to me–and have been for decades. Stop the loss of good kids.

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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