interview with Audie Cornish, a host of All Things Considered. Produced by Karen Zamora.
There were zero reported deaths from college hazing incidents in 2020, but as campuses reopen to students, there have already been two hazing-related deaths this year. Eight men face a range of charges, including involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, evidence tampering and failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, after Stone Foltz, a sophomore at Bowling Green State University, died on March 7 of alcohol poisoning.
At a news conference on April 29, Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson described the fraternity event in which initiates were told to drink 750 milliliters of hard alcohol — or about 40 shots, according to Hank Nuwer, editor of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives. Dobson said Foltz’s death was “the result of a fatal level of alcohol intoxication during a hazing incident.”
Experts like Nuwer are concerned that as students return to in-person learning and are eager to take part in “the college experience,” more hazing-related deaths may be on the way.
“There seems to be a disconnect — not seeing that alcohol-related hazing can kill,” he says.
Nuwer is a professor emeritus of journalism at Franklin College and the author of five books on hazing. He spoke with NPR’s All Things Considered about how the Stone Foltz case could reshape hazing prosecution, how college campuses create a “perfect storm” for hazing and how to put an end to the practice, once and for all.