Hazing News

San Diego State woman’s death under investigation

My condolences to the family. Link

SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of mourners gathered Monday night to grieve for a teen who was found dead in her apartment over the weekend. Police are investigating the death of Shirley Jennifer Poliakoff, a San Diego State University student who was found dead over the weekend. Shirley Jennifer Poliakoff, known as Jenny, was found dead Sunday morning in her bedroom. Detectives said her brother discovered her body in her off-campus apartment in the 5500 block of Montezuma Road. A memorial service for Poliakoff was held Monday in Poway. Campus police said Poliakoff, 19, came home late Saturday night with friends after attending several social events. Residents in the area said they are shocked by Poliakoff’s death. “It’s surprising that you could be so young,” SDSU student Cayla Awalt said. “I feel bad for her brother, who walked in on her. That’s horrible.” Medical examiner’s Investigators said the cause of death has not been determined, but alcohol may have been a factor. Foul play is not suspected, police said. Poliakoff’s parents live in Poway. They said they will never have the perfect answer to the question of how she died. But they said they had the perfect daughter and hope her death will be a reminder to hold your loved ones close.

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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