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College Talk Blog

Hazed and Confused

Is your kid at risk?

National Hazing Week begins September 21 this year. Hazing is typically a demeaning initiation practice in some sororities and fraternities but also in marching bands, athletic teams and other groups. 

Hazing awareness is the first step in avoiding being hazed. Hazing is a problem because it is disruptive to student success, demeans students and hurts their self esteem. Beyond the psychological harm of hazing, incidents have been blamed for suicides, accidental deaths and serious injuries. Not all deaths on college campuses as a result of hazing are reported as hazing because colleges are not always that an accidental death was hazing related.

A myth about hazing among girls is that hazing is only a problem for male students. Another myth is that hazing only happens in Greek organizations. Unfortunately, it affects anyone joining a group. Sometimes just being a freshman can cause a student to become a target.

How Hazing Kills
Hazing that causes accidental deaths often involves entering deep water after drinking, being left on a deserted road after drinking, riding in a vehicle driven by a driver who is drinking or seriously sleep deprived, drinking an unhealthy amount of water or alcohol, eating a large amount of inedible food, being outdoors in cold weather without appropriate clothing, being forced to do strenuous exercise in hot weather in heavy clothing and being forced to complete difficult or risky physical tasks.

The best way to protect a new freshman from hazing is to educate them about hazing and to teach them to realize their worth and their rights on campus. Students who are confident and assertive are less vulnerable to unreasonable and dangerous initiation rites. Students with a strong sense of ethics will avoid hazing and being hazed. Hazing not only destroys lives of those hazed, the hazers risk going to jail. Colleges are cracking down on hazing. Protect your college student by making sure they know the risks of hazing and allowing themselves to be hazed.

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