Hazing News

Rookie Night: a song by Hank Nuwer–feel free to use

Here is a little contribution for HazingPrevention Week. You can sing it to the tune of “Old Shep” or you can use any tune you want. I’m not copyrighting it. Feel free to use as you wish. You can change it from Rookie Night to Hell Night and use for your sorority or fraternity. You can fix some of the meter if you wish as well. Happy Hazing Prevention Week.

Rookie Night

 by Hank Nuwer

When my boy Tom was a lad

He had him a pup

And they ran through the woods and the hay.

Wildflowers he oft carried

To the family plot where his mama lay buried.

But otherwise, he and Tramp ran wild all the day.


One night we had to visit the vet.

Tramp had run right where a rattler set.

The vet wanted to put him down

But my son begged him not to quit

And with Tramp all night Tom and that vet did sit

Y’know, my boy’s faith saved his young hound.


Ten years passed by too fast

Tom, he went to college at last

And wouldn’t you know that young fool

Told me he wanted Tramp with him at school.

Said the two of them would have them a blast.

So I said yes, what else could I do?


Now, you see I don’t have much education

I was off in Vietnam fighting for my nation.

So when he said he was playing club lacrosse      

I just grew quiet as a mouse

I was afraid he might have the wrong kinda fun

I’d kept him too protected; he’s my only son.


Then one fall day in the middle of the night

The phone rang and it gave me a fright.

It was Dean Such and Such speaking real polite.

I’ll never forget those terse words that he said.

He said we found your boy just now in his bed.

There was a hazing party; now he’s dead.


All his friends from the team came to his wake.

Truth to tell it was their necks, not their hands I wanted to shake.

How damn much can one man take?

But I saw the grief in their eyes

And I knew from all their sighs.

That they saw they’d made a grave mistake.



Tramp and I brought my boy home to our farm

We buried him next to his mama in the shade of the barn.

Now each and every night

Faithful Tramp sleeps there in the moonlight.

That dog’s gotten old and soon heaven will be his home

And there once again Tom and his dog can roam.




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. 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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