Hazing News

Recalling Old Miss’s Reid Waldrip

This Univ of Miss. editorial is now three years old: Our View – Someone needs to tell the truth about what happened to Reid Waldrip.As you flip through today’s paper, take notice of an advertisement located at the bottom of page 11.

Reid Waldrip was an ordinary Ole Miss student enjoying his freshman year of school. He was meeting new folks, surviving his classes and excited by his recent bid to Sigma Chi fraternity.

All of this changed, however, in the early morning of Oct. 7, when Waldrip, after attending a Bid Day party for his fraternity, suffered multiple, unexplained skull fractures and considerable brain damage. In the time since the incident, Reid has undergone physical, speech and occupational therapy, regaining some ability, but still having considerable trouble with his speech and the use of his right hand, his father said.

Perhaps the most disturbing part about this whole ordeal is how little has been publically disclosed about what happened that night. A large and critical information gap exists in the timeline of events.

Virtually no one knows how Reid Waldrip was hurt. His injuries were consistent with a two-story fall, though no such opportunity for one is known.

No one knows how Reid Waldrip got home. It is highly unlikely that he walked to the dorm from a party in the Shiloh subdivision having just sustained a massive head injury. If he didn’t walk, then, someone must have driven him, but not a single person has come forward to say that they saw a wounded Waldrip.

That police, university and Sigma Chi investigations and interrogations have turned up nothing is both frustrating and infuriating. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that Reid’s injury was the result of a pure and unavoidable accident.

It was at a party attended by more than 50 people, and no one knows anything. It’s impossible.

Reid Waldrip will never be quite the same again, and no one even has the nerve to step forward — even anonymously — to aid this investigation? No, someone knows something. Somebody out there has information that will bring the truth about Oct. 7 into the open.

Your silence is inhumane.

If you know anything about what happened to Reid Waldrip in the Shiloh neighborhood on Oct. 7, please contact UPD, OPD, the Waldrip family, or any of the lawyers listed on page 11.

The DM Editorial Board is composed of Editor Laura Houston, Opinion Editor Marquita Brown, English major Joel Moore and biochemistry major Lara Oyetunji.

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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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