Hazing News

Editorial: Compare Florida’s hazing law with Oklahoma’s weak law and Wyoming’s no law

An Alpha Phi Alpha pledge at Oklahoma State says six members caned him so hard they flailed the skin off. Now, on March 13, they begin trial and face up to ninety days in jail, if convicted.

To compare, in Florida, physical hazing can get you two years or more and in California, a year or more. In Oklahoma, it’s 90 days. In Wyoming and five other states, there is no hazing law at all. This year the Wyoming State Senate dropped the ball on House Bill 54. Voters would be well advised to remember which senators did drop the ball come election time.
These state-by-state disparities in sentencing  from the death penalty numbers to the hazing penalties are pretty self-evident.

Hank Nuwer

Here are the Wyoming ayes and nays on the hazing bill:

Ayes:  Senator(s) Aullman, Burns, Coe, Decaria, Hastert, Jennings, Job, Massie, Mockler, Scott, Sessions, Vasey and Von Flatern.

Nays:  Senator(s) Anderson, J., Case, Cooper, Fecht, Geis, Hines, Johnson, Larson, Meier, Nicholas, Perkins, Peterson, Ross, Schiffer and Townsend.


Excused:  Senator(s) Barrasso and Peck.


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-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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