Hazing News

Sam Martinez and his family’s battle against hazing

Here is the link:

And an excerpt: from Station WIRO

House Bill 1751 was approved by both chambers in the state Legislature last week, but is awaiting final passage to resolve an amendment to officially name it “Sam’s Law.” The legislation follows a similar push in the 90s to criminalize college hazing. The more current legislation expands the definition of hazing, requires public and private schools to publicly report incidents of hazing, legally mandates employees of the school to report hazing, and orders that schools provide education to students on the dangers of hazing.

“We really believe that this law is going to save lives … It is shining a light on what has been hidden up until now from new students and from their families in terms of the disciplinary track record in the history of Greek organizations, but also other clubs and student groups and athletic teams,” Jolayne Houtz, Sam’s mother, said.

Documented cases of collegiate hazing date back to the 1830s. John Butler Groves died in a hazing incident in 1838 at Franklin Seminary in Kentucky, according to Hank Nuwer, a journalist who collects all U.S. reported deaths of hazing and compiles the information in a public database.

“Fraternities have proven over and over again that they are not capable of ending hazing on their own,” Houtz continued. “If you look through that [Nuwer’s databse], it’s just picture after picture of mostly young men, some women who have been hazed to death. These people who are 18,19, 20 years old — on the cusp of the rest of their lives, with so much to offer — are stamped out by hazing.”

A second, similar bill would have updated Washington law to treat hazing as a felony charge. That failed to make its way out of committee before the Legislature’s cut-off date, although the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mari Leavitt, has publicly signaled interest in bringing it back in the next session.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.