Hazing News

University of Southern California dissertation on hazing by Christopher Sean Zacharda

Scholarship: How peer leadership impacts hazing in the arena of non-revenue generating college athletics: CS Zacharda 

From ProQuest: One can purchase a copy here.

Amidst all of the prestige and tradition of college athletics, there exists an ugly underside of hazing. Hazing, generally defined as any forced act that may result in harm as a condition to join a group, has been a part of colleges and universities, as well as college athletics, for decades. This qualitative study explores the ways in which peer leaders and team captains can impact their athletic team environment, especially within the context of hazing.

College athletes from four different aquatic team sports were interviewed and surveyed on their perceptions of team leadership, as well as their thoughts on hazing. The data indicated that those teams that had a team captain that the general membership deemed as effective were less likely to perceive that their team engaged in hazing activities. The findings also indicated that several factors were influential in understanding an athletic team’s relationship to hazing. The dynamic of the team, the role and effectiveness of the team captain, and the way in which formal and informal educational efforts are designed all emerged as significant. From these influential factors, several recommendations emerged to address hazing in athletics. Most notably, by harnessing the potential of peer leadership, especially the team captain position, educators can design an approach to ultimately eliminate hazing from college athletics.


Bio Posted Online: Dr. Christopher Zacharda is currently the Associate Dean of Students at Johnson & Wales University (JWU).  He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California.  His research interests include peer leadership models, college athletics and the psychology of hazing.  Dr. Zacharda also currently teaches in the MBA and Masters in Counseling programs at JWU.

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.

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