Hazing News

Historical Hazing Case. Duncan v. Bunker (Ferrum College): Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Definitely worth a read for those who must deal with subrosa and rogue fraternities operating illicitly on campuses.

Excerpt from above link (well done!) :

The incident, which occurred in late 1994, involved a freshman who pledged with Delta Phi Chi, an illegal social fraternity.

According to Pierce, the initial pledging rites Duncan participated in were relatively harmless — things such as drinking hot beer or whiskey.

However, things got out of hand as the plaintiff was approached one day and told to report to the Corner House, a local hang-out of the fraternity, for “Hell Night.” Once there, he was blindfolded, put into a car and driven out to a soccer field around midnight. Fraternity members proceeded to throw the plaintiff into mud, poured beer on him and urinated on him. In addition, he was forced to drink alcohol and other unknown substances, Pierce said.

Afterwards, as Duncan believed the hazing was ending, Pierce said he was placed in the back of a vehicle and thrown around inside as the driver did “doughnuts” in the field.

Duncan was then put into the back of a pick-up truck to return to campus. Pierce said the driver used a shortcut on a rough secondary road, first driving calmly and then from side to side on the road until he lost control and hit a tree. The plaintiff was buffeted about and slammed into the side of the truck bed.

The plaintiff suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured spine, fractured ribs, a punctured lung and loss of erectile function due to urological injuries.

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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