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Hazing News

University of Maine announces hazing study results today

Press release from U-Maine follows.

March 5, 2008
Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3517; (207) 949-4149 – cell; joecarr@maine.edu

ORONO, Me.  — The National Study on Student Hazing, a three-year project spearheaded by University of Maine professors Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden, has revealed startling new evidence about the nature and extent of hazing at U.S. colleges and universities.  Allan and Madden will discuss their preliminary findings at a Tuesday, March 11 news conference, part of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) annual meeting at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center.  After the 12 p.m. news conference, the professors will make a formal presentation on their research at 1:45 p.m.

Supported by 24 professional associations, the survey includes responses from more than 11,000 undergraduate students at 54 colleges and universities around the U.S. The North American Interfraternal Foundation was a key sponsor, arranging for the participation of the other 23 project partners, including the NCAA.

More than half the respondents who belonged to a student organization or team say they have experienced behavior that meets the definition of hazing, which is illegal in 44 states.

The previous largest similar study, from 1999, had 2,027 respondents and focused solely on student athletes.  The survey conducted by Allan and Madden is based on a random sample of all undergraduate students at each participating institution.

“By looking at different types of groups and student organizations, we gain a better understanding of the campus culture,” Allan says.

The colleges and universities provided Allan and Madden with student names and email addresses.  The UMaine researchers invited those students, via email, to take the online survey.  Allan, Madden and their UMaine colleagues followed up with in-person interviews of some 400 of those students, in addition to staff members, administrators, and coaches, from 22 participating institutions.

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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