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Letter in today’s Boston Herald

Harassment and hazing

The recent and swift cultural change regarding sexual harassment in this country is remarkable and truly unprecedented (“A win for decency, a warning for the GOP,” Dec. 14). The #MeToo movement has given victims of sexual harassment a voice that is finally being heard.

Much like sexual harassment, hazing is another centuries-old practice that must stop. Colleges and universities have anti-hazing policies that are effectively nothing more than marketing tools to allay the fears of parents. In reality, many schools continue to turn a blind eye. Schools hide behind the fact that most fraternity and sorority houses are “privately” owned, and therefore, the school has no jurisdiction. With the two recent hazing deaths of young men at Penn State and Texas State universities, we as a society must say enough is enough.

As in cases of sexual harassment, we must hold people accountable and put an end to hazing.

— Denyse Richter, Portsmouth, N.H.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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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