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Hazing News

Cornell member says her sorority hazes

See Cornell’s Uncle Ezra site, question four.

Dear Uncle Ezra,
I am currently a member of one of the panhellenic association sororities on campus.  Last spring, I was subjected to what now, upon reflection, can only be described as “hazing”. Is it too late to report what I went through through the hazing website? I realize now that I should not have kept silent, but as a new member thought that I would be kicked out of the pledge class. No one else seemed uncomfortable with what was going on, and some girls even said they were excited they were being hazed!
I would just like to know what I can do at this point, to prevent girls who feel compelled to keep silent from going through what I did.

Sincerely,
Hazed and Confused

Dear Hazed and Confused,

While being part of a campus group can be one of the most meaningful aspects of student life, hazing is a hidden and serious problem that undermines the value of these experiences for many individuals.  Hazing is a violation of Cornell University policy and New York State law.

You can definitely report what you experienced on the hazing website.  Just mention when it happened and what you know about the incident.  Here is the website set up to receive confidential reports of hazing on campus, http://www.hazing.cornell.edu/form_confidentialReport.html.

If you, or others, are wondering if you have experienced hazing, ask yourself these simple questions:
Does the activity involve mental distress such as humiliation or intimidation? Does it involve physical abuse (e.g., sleep deprivation)? Is there a significant risk of injury or a question of safety? Would you have any reservations describing the activity to your parents or a university official? Is alcohol involved? Would you be worried if the activity was shown on the evening news?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes,” the activity is probably hazing.

More information is also available at this site, http://www.hazing.cornell.edu/.

It is very important to me that all of my nieces and nephews are respected and safe.  Please help by reporting questionable activities on campus.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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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