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Feedback via email of activists Lianne Kowiak and Debbie Smith to the PSU Grand Jury report

Here’s my statement if you choose to use it. I look forward to reading your post. –Lianne Kowiak, mother of Harrison Kowiak, late Theta Chi pledge

“I could not stomach reading the 236-page grand jury report in its entirety. Hazing is a systemic deep-rooted issue in America today. It is embedded in our culture especially in Greek life but certainly not limited to this area.  Hazing is seen as a rite of passage and often there is a cover-up because the brother’s are sworn to secrecy not to discuss their activities around hazing. The universities have to step up and be more engaged and responsible for what their students are doing on “their watch”. Penn State has an opportunity NOW to set a precedence to how they deal with the tragic loss of Timothy Piazza. If they lead and do the right thing, other universities will follow”.

From Debbie Smith, activist with AHA! and mother of Matt Carrington

Hi Hank,
Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your offer.  I would love to provide a comment but I am not comfortable without reading the entire report.
I can say what I did read, made me sad, disgusted and angry, what is it going to take wake these kids up? These young men need to be held accountable in a way that is life-changing.  All eyes are on this case, the judge can make a HUGE difference if he could just step into the shoes of all the victims and do the right thing. There has GOT to be jail time no doubt about it, otherwise no one learns anything.

 

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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