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Dartmouth writer tackles the burning issue of branding in Greek groups

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Excerpt from the longer piece by writer Parker Richards:

Hank Nuwer, a professor of journalism at Franklin College and a nationally recognized expert on collegiate hazing, said that branding is not an unusual hazing technique. Such brands are usually nominally optional, Nuwer said. He noted that in most Greek organizations that use branding, peer pressure and a mob mentality convince most members to acquiesce.

Nuwer added that, while researching a fraternity that utilized optional branding of the left side of the chest at Ball State University in 1989, a member noted that “No one has to get a brand, but no one in the organization is without a brand.”

“It may be a form of expression, but it falls into all those kinds of hazing activities that involve peer pressure and a sort of group expectation and groupthink, in terms of the camaraderie that is expected and certain penalties for not going along with the group,” Nuwer said.

Nuwer added that the derecognition of AD in response to the branding would “be the logical step” for Dartmouth to take.

 

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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