Hazing News

Dartmouth hazing investigations appear to stall

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By Leslie Ye, The Dartmouth Staff

Hazing allegations are rarely brought against Dartmouth Greek organizations, sports teams and other student groups due to the difficulty of finding witnesses to corroborate such accusations, according to Hanover Chief of Police Nicholas Giaccone. Recent hazing allegations by Andrew Lohse ’12 have brought increased visibility to the issue of hazing at Dartmouth and how both the College and the Hanover Police Department respond to these allegations.

There are many “entry points” that can initiate an investigation into claims of alleged hazing, according to Director of Judicial Affairs Nathan Miller. Students can report hazing that they have personally experienced, or Safety and Security officers responding to an incident call can report potential hazing violations. Concerned parents, faculty members, staff and anonymous tipsters have also sent emails reporting incidents in the past, according to Miller.

Once such a claim is made, Miller, along with Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life April Thompson and Director of Safety and Security and College Proctor Harry Kinne, initiates discussions to determine how to proceed, Miller said. If the hazing claims are made against a Greek house, the talks will also involve Greek Letter Organization and Societies Director Wes Schaub. In addition, the College is required by law to report such claims to Hanover Police, Schaub said.

The College receives anywhere from zero to four complaints regarding hazing each year, Miller said, though he stressed that these numbers do not remain consistent from year to year. The cases usually involve a Greek organization, an athletic team or a student group endorsed by the Council on Student Organizations, according to Miller.

Giaccone said, however, that complaints exclusively regarding hazing in Greek organizations occur one or two times per term. Of those complaints, usually no more than one case has enough evidence to be prosecuted, he said.

On Jan. 25, The Dartmouth published an opinion column by Lohse, in which Lohse accused his former fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, of hazing violations. Lohse brought his complaints to Thompson and Chief of Staff David Spalding, who he alleges did not adequately respond to his claims. Spalding and Thompson said they were unable to investigate Lohse’s claims as thoroughly as they would have liked because of his unwillingness to file a complaint on the record and his insistence on anonymity.

Anonymity, however, does not prevent the College from investigating any accusations of hazing, but it can restrict whether the College is able to formally adjudicate a case, according to Miller.

“It does not mean that we aren’t going to ask questions or look into something,” Miller said. “Even if we receive an anonymous report, we’re always going to call in that group or individuals if there’s an allegation.”

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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