Hazing News

National Review article traces the hedonistic roots of fraternity life

The magazine cover story asks “Is the Party Over?”

Excerpt:Following a night of drunken revelry, Homer reports, Elpenor — one of Odysseus’s unhappy and rapidly dwindling band of brothers — climbs atop the roof of the house where they are staying to sleep off the booze. Awakening in the morning, he proceeds to tumble off the roof, fatally breaking his neck in the landing. Thus was born the first frat bro. Falling from height seems to be a regular part of life among 21st-century college fraternities. Fraternity-house residents and their guests regularly fall off roofs, porches, decks, and fire escapes, out of windows, through skylights, and down stairs. This March, at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, some three-dozen people — business majors, apparently — clustered atop a garage to celebrate “St. Fratty’s Day.” Predictably, the garage’s roof gave way, sending 40 Solo cups to the earth and eight people to the hospital, including one impaled through the thigh. The incident occurred a little before 6:30 a.m.

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John Belushi in sweater on the cover. The magazine pins much blame on Faculty of 50 and 40 years ago: “When the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s struck America’s campuses, administrators and professors keen to be groovy abdicated most responsibility for moral instruction in the lives of their students, reimagining the campus as a four-year getaway in which self-discovery, not intellectual formation, was paramount.”

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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