Hazing News

No more closed doors. FAMU students and alums open up about a 50-year-old practice of hazing

Here is the story link and excerpt

•Accusers have come forward regarding not only the Marching 100, but also seven Greek-letter organizations and five non-Greek student organizations.

•The organizations that were reported at least once each by current students were the Marching 100, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Omega Psi Phi.

•Eight of the 15 submissions cited violence. Some accusers took us up on the option to provide further detail via write-in.

A 1962 graduate wrote of her experience pledging Delta Sigma Theta: “A single-burner hotplate was laid on my back and I suffered a third-degree burn that has left a large black circle that is a permanent mark and reminder.”

A member of the Marching 100 from 1980 wrote: “I was punched in the chest. I was verbally threatened many times. I heard a girl scream and saw a freshman band sister, saxophone player being dragged across the patch by her hair late one night after band practice.”

An alumna who tried to join the Pershing Angels in the mid-80s wrote: “For every day I was online, I was beaten with paddles til my entire body hurt. I was thrown down the steps outside Foote-Hilyer that lead down to the street (Adams). That was the day I dropped line.”

•Alpha Phi Alpha was named in five submissions. One was from a current student alleging violence and every other category of abuse we offered as a choice on our form. He says he encountered hazing behaviors among Alphas between five and 10 times, and he has so far only told his friends.

•About half the accusers said they did not report hazing incidents to anyone around the time the incidents occurred. About half said they reported to friends. Every other option, including police and administrators, showed little usage.

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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