Hazing News

USM Kappa Sig Little Sis hospitalized with 0.47 BAC

From the Student Printz
When the irresponsible behavior of a college fraternity sends two young women to the hospital – where one remained in intensive care for more than a week – then that fraternity has become more of a liability than an asset to the campus community.

Such is the case of the Kappa Sigma chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Last week, USM officials revoked Kappa Sigma’s charter because its members conducted an initiation ritual for members of its little sister organization that resulted in two young women having to be taken to Forrest General Hospital. One was treated and released the next day. But the other, a 20-year-old from Waveland, has been hospitalized since the night of Aug. 28 to cope with the consequences of a life-threatening blood-alcohol level of .47 percent.

USM officials did not seem to act quickly at first, but after the incident became widely known via press reports, the appropriate steps were taken to deal with the offending fraternity.

When parents send their students off to a college or university they are entrusting their most precious treasures to that institution, and have every right to expect great care and oversight of those young people. Not only in the classrooms and dormitories, but also in the organizations sanctioned by the schools. Yes, there is the matter of parental training and personal responsibility on the part of students, but the university must have stringent regulations and enforcement to protect those who are enrolled.

For USM and all of the other institutions of higher learning, the lesson of this hazing gone terribly wrong must not be lost, or ignored.

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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