Hazing News

Irvine suit targets chapter’s alleged brutality

From the San Jose paper

Suit blames UC Irvine fraternity for hazing death

The Associated Press

SANTA ANA- The family of a 19-year-old man sued the University of California, Irvine, over his death during a fraternity football hazing.Kenny Luong of Rosemead suffered head injuries when he was tackled during an August 2005 game that pitted nine pledges against 30 to 40 members of UC Irvine’s Lambda Phi Epsilon chapter. He never regained consciousness and died two days later at a hospital.

No safety equipment was used during the game, said attorney Richard Cohn, who filed the lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday.

“This football game was nothing more than a contrivance designed to be a vehicle through which physical abuse could be inflicted upon the young pledges,” Cohn said.

“Those responsible must be punished so that this will never happen to any other family,” Luong’s mother, Sophia Luong, said at a news conference. “If there is no threat of punishment, the hazing will just continue or become worse. I do not want to see any more senseless death like this.”

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. 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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