Hazing News

Hazing film raises awareness


Hazing Film Raises Awareness

By Timothy Woods, Contributing Writer

National Hazing Prevention Week’s mission is to bring attention to the problem of hazing across the country. In its second year, NHPW has become a national effort to understand and change the culture of hazing. This year’s theme was “hazing hurts” and SUNY New Paltz was successful in bringing organizations, students and faculty together to take a stand against hazing.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, over 100 students joined together in the MPR to screen the documentary, “Unless a Death Occurs.”

The first half of this film was made in response to the tragic death of a freshman, Walter Dean Jennings, who was forced to drink a perilous amount of water while pledging an unrecognized fraternity at SUNY Plattsburgh in March 2003. The film includes interviews with the fraternity brothers of the former organization Psi Epsilon Chi, who received national attention from their unsafe practices, and were expelled from school for the part they played in the death of Jennings.

The second half of the movie interviews author Hank Nuwer and Dr. Elizabeth Allan, co-creator of, among others.

This part of the film took a look at our culture. Nuwer explained that a lot of young people become victims of a culture of hazing and that this behavior can be cultivated in high-school. Whether it is incoming students who may find themselves victims of hazing by upper classmen during the first week of school, or new members of sports teams who may be forced to partake in a series of degrading rituals to earn the respect of the team.

Link to rest of article:

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.