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SUNY Binghamton VP addresses students on hazing rumors via letter to paper

Letter attached:

Letter from the SUNY-Bing. vice president for student affairs

To the Editor:

I have recently heard that some groups or individuals may be placing our students in harm’s way with forms of hazing.

The safety of our students will always be a major priority at Binghamton and hazing in any form is a violation of New York State Law and the University hazing policy.

All students must understand the subtleties of hazing. Hazing need not be a forced or coerced activity. When a “suggestion” or “opportunity” to do something you otherwise would not do is made, that is hazing. You do not have to follow any suggestion where you feel forced, coerced or threatened to do anything or to be deprived of something. For example, if you are told “it is a tradition that you shave your head” to belong to this organization, no matter what organization it is, you don’t have to do it!

If you believe you are being hazed or you witness a hazing incident, report it to staff in Campus Life, Residential Life, University Police, Judicial Affairs or Student Affairs.

It is up to you to help end hazing activities. You must police each other as well as yourselves. This letter is a clear warning that there are consequences for any organization found to be involved in hazing activities.

If you have a question about a practice, ask us. We will help you.

I hope all students will act responsibly.

Sincerely,

Rodger Summers,

Vice President for Student Affairs

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of 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 new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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