Hazing in universities across the nation has become an increasingly dangerous ritual that is seemingly becoming more difficult to put an end to due to its development into an “underground” activity. Though a regular activity in the seventies, hazing, a possible dangerous act of initiation to a group, has now become an activity that is banned in thirty-nine states (Wagner 16). However, this ritual has not been stopped or become less severe. In fact it is becoming more dangerous. Since it has been banned, with many colleges imposing their own penalties against those participating in it, many fraternities and sororities have pursued this activity in an underground fashion. Since these groups have gone underground, some victims of these rituals have been injured and subsequently died. This is due to the “hazers” not seeking medical treatment for the victims, for fear that they may be fined or charged by police or campus authorities. One estimate states that at least sixty-five students have died between the years of 1978 and 1996 from beatings and stress inflicted during fraternity initiation rites (“Greek” 26).
Hazing has been defined in the Pennsylvania Hazing Law as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical safety of a student or which destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance, or any forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual”(“Pennsylvania Hazing Law” 1).
The importance of this hazing situation is the fact that people are being injured, both physically and...
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...itiation Remains the Most Secret of
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“Greek Tragedies.” U.S. News & World Report 29 Apr. 1996 : 26.
Kempert, Jim. “New Education Options Reduce Punishment for Greeks.” National On-
Campus Report. 12 Apr. 1999 : 12.
Nuwer, Hank. Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing. Atlanta: Longstreet, 1990.
“Pennsylvania Hazing Law.” StopHazing.org. 30 Nov. 1999. Online. Internet. 9 Dec.
“The Persistent Madness of Greek Hazing: Phychologists Provide Insight on Why Hazing
Persists Among Black Greeks.” Black Issues in Higher Education 25 Jun. 1998 : 14.
Pudlow, Jan. “Sour Note for the Marching 100.” Black Issues in Higher Education 10
Dec. 1998 : 18.
Ruffins, Paul. “Frat-ricide: Are African American Fraternities Beating Themselves to
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