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Penn State announces sanctions

This is straight from the lion’s den, the Penn State news page: ”

Penn State’s Office of Judicial Affairs has concluded its investigation into charges of hazing activities and underage drinking at an off-campus party in fall semester 2005, and concluded that 12 current or former members of the wrestling team are responsible for violating either the University’s code of conduct, wrestling team rules, or both.

Four students found responsible for University Code violations related to the participation or facilitation of hazing and/or underage consumption of alcohol will receive University-wide sanctions including varying levels of probation, the completion of 40 hours of community service, and having to write a research and reflection paper on hazing. Four students who were responsible solely for team rules violations will complete 40 hours of community service and the research and reflection paper. One student who was less involved received a disciplinary warning and an educational activity.

In addition, all current members of the wrestling team will be required to attend an educational program on hazing and will participate in an event that includes the discussion and signing of a Wrestling Team Hazing Code document reinforcing the dangers and inappropriateness of hazing activities.

“Most students involved in this incident did not view it as hazing, which clearly indicates to us the need for additional education,” said Vicky Triponey, vice president for Student Affairs. “Students need to understand that hazing is unacceptable behavior at Penn State, and there will be serious consequences for those who participate in this type of activity.”

Three students who no longer are members of the wrestling team have been found to have directly participated in the hazing activity and underage consumption of alcohol. They will receive sanctions including probation, community service and writing a reflection paper. All students involved in University-wide violations will receive parental notification.

The investigation stemmed from a series of pictures made available to the University in March.”

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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