Hazing News

VICE commentary on Baruch Pi Delta Psi arrests

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The Pi Delta Psi organization could get fined, but Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, Raymond Lam, Daniel Li, and Sheldon Wongwill face up to 20 years in prison if convicted for Deng’s murder, according to the New York Times.

Sean Callan, a partner at Fraternal Law Partners, a firm that specializes in legal maters involving Greek organizations, says that he’s seen fraternities charged with crimes related to underage drinking in the past, but that they usually just result in the frats in question being dissolved.

“Kind of like with [former energy giant] Enron, when [law firm] Arthur Andersen was charged,” he told me. “There was no more Arthur Andersen. Fraternity chapters are just like companies.”

The attorney has never seen charges this severe against a Greek organization, but sees it becoming the norm in the “foreseeable future.”

Hank Nuwer, a professor at Franklin College in Indiana who has written several books about hazing, said that dangerous and degrading hazing rituals have a lengthy history. “In the Middle Ages, it was both pain and humiliation,” he told me. “Cutting a young student’s lip open and making him drink from a salted cup, paddling, making a blindfolded young man tell his embarrassing confession to a confessor, who was just another student.”


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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