Hazing News

Has the Rider administration done enough to defend its dean of students and Greek adviser?

Moderator opinion:

As of 11 a.m. on August 10, Rider University President Dr. Mordechai Rozanski to my knowledge has made no public statements of support for Dean Anthony Campbell and Greek adviser Badgley–although I’ve looked hard and long over news reports and radio shows.
In fact, the Rider site has no more updates now PERIOD on its web page and news site since August 3. Admittedly, President Rozanski is in a tight spot, and we sympathize, but does he really want to “cut bait” and distance himself from two administrators closest to Rider fraternity and sorority life?
I don’t know what to think about Rider’s operation of its Greek system, but Rider’s public relations team gets a solid “F-” on its public responses to this hazing story. The Exxon Valdez PR team couldn’t do any worse for the President and school.

The last school president to misjudge the national implications of a hazing scandal like this was then-University of Vermont President Judith Ramaley, but even she appointing a hazing study task force to deal with the scandal wreckage. While the hazing scandal wasn’t directly responsible for her departure according to press reports, it did manage to sour alumni, some faculty, and many students who reviewed her immediate response and found it subpar. The case also brought a state investigation.

On the other hand, Internet social network sites have shown student support for the two administrators. The prosecutor also has been criticized. See link and excerpt below:

From “Eric” on an Internet chat page (linked for full commentary): “Perhaps my legal education was an anomaly, but in law school I do remember being taught that public prosecutor’s job is to uphold the law, and to seek justice. I don’t remember the “sending a message” part.

I could see a partisan organization like MADD wanting to do this, but DAs are not supposed to advance partisan agendas. I might be wrong, but something about the stated goal of the prosecution being to “send a message” to “colleges and universities” sounds like deliberate partisan grandstanding.”


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. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

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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