Hazing News

Salve Regina update

Students split on punishment, but say hazing not uncommon

By Christine McCall/Daily News staff

NEWPORT – If Salve Regina University students were not exactly surprised by an alleged hazing incident involving members of the men’s soccer team, they still were divided on the consequences facing the team, including a five-game suspension.

“Since it’s the beginning of the season, I think (it’s) severe,” Michelle Delisio, a sophomore at Salve, said Tuesday. “They haven’t even really started. It can set them back a lot.”

On the other hand, Jill Donnelly, a junior on the women’s ice hockey team, said that the university has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing and the policy is strictly followed. “Our coach doesn’t allow it,” she said. “If he hears or sees anything about it, I think he would suspend the season.”

Before the string of forfeits started on Sept. 27, the men’s soccer team – which reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game last season – had a 5-3-1 record and was 3-0-1 in the conference.

In addition to the five-game suspension imposed by the athletic department, a number of soccer players have been put through the university’s adjudication process, officials said. Sanctions range from mandatory attendance at special classes or programs to probation, suspension or expulsion.

A soccer team initiation ceremony that ended Sept. 23 in a confrontation on Memorial Boulevard between several Salve students and local residents is among the incidents being investigated. The university’s athletic department policy includes prohibitions against drinking, using drugs and hazing.

Reports of hazing by university sports teams, fraternities and sororities are not uncommon, and students did not seem surprised by it. “I think it’s kind of understood that it happens everywhere,” Delisio said.

A senior student-athlete from New Jersey, who asked not be identified for fear of incriminating himself and his teammates, said it is not unusual for hazing to occur, especially when there is drinking going on. He said he has voluntarily taken part in hazing. “It happens more often then you hear about,” he said. “Just not everyone gets caught.”

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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