Hazing News

In case you missed it the first time: Putting an end to Hazing Deaths

Link to my story for Campus Safety

here have been more than 170 hazing deaths in collegiate fraternities, sororities, a band, ROTC and sports teams all told. A survey of large and small public and private institutions conducted by University of Maine researchers Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden found that around half of all students in fraternities, clubs, teams and other organizations reported that they had been hazed.

Among the hazing practices uncovered by the researchers were forced or coerced drinking, physical abuse, screaming in so-called lineups, being abandoned in the countryside, nudity, improper touching, paddling and beatings. Deaths at Chico State University and Plattsburgh State University were caused by pledges being forced to drink many gallons of water, an act that severely upset the body chemistry of Matt Carrington and Walter Dean Jennings, the dead pledges.

The 32 National Campus Safety Initiative (32 NCSI) defines hazing as any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

Significantly, punishments for criminal hazing have been historically mild, and in many cases, defendants get no jail time or a very small fine and community service at most. Male fraternities have by far been the most deadly of all groups that haze. To put it into perspective, according to my research, there has been at least one hazing death on a college campus every year from 1970 to 2015. (NOW 2017–Moderator

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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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