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Examining a 1904 case at M. A. C.

Student Henry Johnson of rural Lyons, Michigan, entered Michigan Agricultural College on December 3, 1904, for so-called special study. The Detroit Free Press reported later that on December 7, he became violently insane. He died the following month of a cerebral hemorrhage. His father claimed the boy must have been hazed. President Snyder of M.A.C. ordered an investigation. However, no evidence of hazing or any witness to hazing was discovered. Newspapers of the day pondered the question of whether he might have been hazed. Nothing concrete ever was established to rule his death a hazing-related incident. See Detroit Free Press, January 13, 1905. –Moderator Hank Nuwer. Nonetheless, while lacking proof in this case, hazing at M.A.C. was rampant.

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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