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New Hampshire ROTC ruled non criminal

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The four students who were under investigation for an alleged hazing incident early last week on Oct. 8 will not face criminal charges, according to a statement released by the UNH Police Department.

“The county attorney as well as our counterparts in Durham agreed this behavior did not meet the threshold of hazing,” said UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean.

According to Dean, police officers patrolling near the west end of campus stopped a vehicle as it pulled out of Boulder Field late last Monday night. The vehicle was occupied by three of the students who identified themselves as first-year cadets in the UNH Army ROTC program.

After questioning the students in the car, officers learned that a senior cadet had been tied up and left in the bucket of a utility truck on Boulder Field.

The names of the four students have not been released due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal privacy laws, which protect the privacy of students and their educational records.

All four students were reportedly members of an unrecognized student organization known as The Tenth New Hampshire Volunteers. Following the investigation of the cadets the club was abolished. Neither the organization itself nor its activities were sanctioned by UNH ROTC.

“The alleged hazing incident involving our cadets is not representative of the ROTC program or the university,” said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Carlino, a professor of military science at UNH, in a written statement last week. “The students involved were acting well outside the purview of the department and in total absence of any of the instructors’ knowledge. Any form of hazing is inconsistent with the principles of leadership and judgment that we try to instill in our cadets and we will not tolerate or condone such behavior.”

The ROTC program has declined to issue any additional statements while the case is still under review. While there will be no criminal charges levied, UNH police have filed misconduct charges with the Office of Conduct and Mediation.

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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