Hazing News

An embattled president shuts down Bloomsburg’s fraternities and sororities

By Hank Nuwer

Fraternities and sororities at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania had themselves to blame when Greek Life was put down forever by the administration like an out-of-control beast.

The message came to all students on Thursday like a sudden safety alert.

Namely, Greek Life activities at B.U. no longer will be tolerated by the administration.

“Effective immediately, Bloomsburg University is terminating its fraternity and sorority life (FSL) program and severing ties with all national and local FSL organizations currently affiliated with the University.” BU President Bashar Hannah wrote faculty and students in a terse memo.  “All students are reminded that their conduct remains subject to all applicable University policies.”

Greek life goes back at least to 1964 at the Susquehanna River Valley school. The first fraternity at the school claimed to be the now suspended Sigma Iota Omega.

Almost from the first, drinking and hazing incidents were reported by the press. The first death occurred in 1994 during a Delta Chi Hell Night. Member Terry Linn, 21, died following pledging Hell Night with a blood-alcohol count of 0.40.

Even Linn’s death failed to put a lid on alcohol-fueled parties. They continued right up to the present.

Continued here at the link

PS ____________________

Observation from Mrs. Evelyn Piazza, hazing activist

The University is culpable in not cracking down oh this behavior, especially after Justin King’s death. The Nationals are culpable in not increasing oversight for their chapters at a University where the hazing culture is so deep-seated. There needed to me education, evaluation and membership reviews, more boots on the ground with advising and closing down chapters that put the org at risk – which yes, means losing dues revenue but could mean reducing risk for a major lawsuit when someone is damaged or dies from risky and criminal behavior like hazing. And individuals who plan and participate in hazing need to be expelled and brought up on criminal charges!
Police don’t hesitate to charge someone for drunk driving – why, when a law exists that gives prosecutors tools and options for charges, are people not brought up on misdemeanor or felony hazing charges?
Use the law, make it precedent that hazing will not be tolerated – it’s a crime, it is dangerous, and if there isn’t a death, it doesn’t make it ok, it just means they got lucky.

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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