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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

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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