Hazing Among Challenges Faced By Students

About this essay

Despite its many dangers, hazing is a student phenomenon that is decades old. Hazing can lead to psychological and physical harm and even death. Yet, it is an issue that has been largely overlooked and understudied until recent years. The National Study of Student Hazing was designed to fill some major gaps in the research and expand what we know about hazing.The study also confirmed that the consumption of alcohol plays a key role in the orchestration of hazing across nearly all student organizations, usually in the form of a drinking game or ingestion of large amounts of alcohol to the point of getting sick or passing out.

Other varieties of hazing include, but are not limited to: humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation, and sex acts; all of which are common across student groups. According to the study, these rationalizations occur because students have come to accept hazing as part of the campus culture. Nearly seven out of 10 students said they are aware of hazing behaviors on their campus.

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Of those who labeled their experiences as hazing (after reading the survey definition), 95 percent said they did not report the events to professional staff and administrators. Some of the reasons for not doing so included not wanting to get the group in trouble (37 percent), fear of negative consequences personally or for the group (20 percent), being shunned by other group members if they found out the behavior was reported (14 percent), not knowing where to report it (9 percent), and other group members hurting the individual if they discovered he or she had reported being hazed (8 percent).

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Two common misconceptions of students became immediately apparent. A generally held belief among students was that hazing occurs when an activity is “against someone’s will.” As such, students often use the term “hazing” to describe only those activities that involve physical force or restraint. Many students did not account for the heavy influence of peer pressure, so if a student perceived that one had a “choice,” then it was not considered hazing. Such broad awareness of hazing suggests the perception of hazing as a social norm, which has the potential to influence the extent to which students choose to participate in or tolerate hazing. Additionally, hazing behaviors may be occurring in our immediate vicinity. While hazing most often occurs in a private space off campus, one in four respondents said it had occurred in a public space on campus and nearly half indicated it had occurred during the day.Hazing is sometimes dismissed as nothing more than silly pranks or harmless antics, yet it is illegal in 44 states. The very nature of these “silly pranks” will violate other laws through underage drinking or sexual activities where consent is questionable due to the coercive dynamics and peer pressure inherent in hazing.

The data from the investigation indicate that hazing involves high-risk behaviors that are dangerous, abusive, and potentially lethal. Long after members are initiated or their hazing experience is behind them, some students still live with scars of their memory. The embarrassment, humiliation, and degradation that often go along with hazing are likely to take an emotional toll. The physical and what HazingPrevention.org explains as the “hidden harm” of hazing are just a few reasons why hazing must be a focus for prevention efforts on campus. Hazing is a cruel way of being initiated into a fraternity. Hazing: any act that embarrasses or harms one’s health, in order to be initiated into a group and a college organization a substances that alters one’s mental ability chapter house a fraternity house. Hazing is any action or activity which does not contribute to the positive development of a person’s; which inflicts or causes physical or mental harm, which degrades a person, regardless of location, intent, or consent of participants.

This action could or may intentionally or unintentionally endanger a student’s admission to an organization. Unfortunately hazing has been a common practice across college campuses. “Many agree that hazing has no place on campus and should be eliminated.”(Pledges vs. Hazing) Plain and simple, hazing can be dangerous! Not only does it kill innocent people, but mocks, embarrasses and tortures them. This causes physical, mental, or emotional harm, or distress. In New York State hazing is illegal. A person is charged with first-degree class A misdemeanour. “There are anti-hazing laws in every state except Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Vermont.”(Stop Hazing) Hazing expels and jails people and closes chapters and raises organizational dues. There are no winners in hazing.

“This “tradition” that teaches “respect” for the group and its members should be replaced with another “tradition” education.”(Hazing) Actions of hazing include, keeping dates and time of initiation a secret, making new members use separate entrances to the house. Paddling or striking, marking or branding. Phone duty, treasure hunts or road trips. Forcing exercise, forced to carry items such as Paige4 rocks, matches coins, books, paddles etc. Preventing class attendance or sleep, forced to eat or drink.

Working parties for new members only, preventing personal hygiene, causing indecent exposure. Physical harassment such as pushing, cursing or shouting etc. Required dressing in opposite sex’s clothes, attending in a Hell week activities before being initiated. Practice periods of silence, and any other activity, which may result in physical, emotional, or mental harm. Two fraternity pledges were killed in Louisiana State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both died of alcohol poisoning after fraternity members supplied them with alcohol and coerced them to drink.

  • John Bugas – Former Vice President – Ford Motor Company University of Wyoming Larry Kurzweil – President/COO, Universal Studios Hollywood John Motley Morehead III – Developed foundation of Union Carbide Company, Lifetime philanthropist UNC Chapel Hill Joe Craft President Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. Joe Craft Center, Kentucky Basketball Facilities University of Kentucky William T. Young – Businessman, Founder and former CEO of JIF, University of Kentucky Chris Sullivan, founder Outback Steakhouse, University of Kentucky Jack Crichton – Oil and gas industrialist in Texas
  • Scott T. Ford- CEO, Alltel Wireless, University of Arkansas J.B. Fuqua – Former businessman and philanthropist. The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University is named after him Clemmie Spangler – Merged the Bank of North Carolina with Bank of America. Businessman and philanthropist, UNC – Chapel Hill Steve Lacy – President & CEO, Meredith Corporation, Kansas State University David S. Lewis, Jr. – Former Chairman & CEO, General Dynamics Corporation, Georgia Tech William Perez – CEO, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
  • Paul L. Foster – President and CEO of Western Refining, Baylor University T. Boone Pickens, Jr. – Chairman, Mesa Petroleum, Oklahoma State University Aubrey McClendon – Co-Founder and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation Bowman Gray, Sr. – Former President and chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company UNC Chapel Hill Charles Price II – Chairman and CEO – Price Candy
    Company University of Missouri Richard Scruggs – Lawyer, University of Mississippi
  • George Watts Hill – Noted banker, hospital administrator, and philanthropist UNC Chapel Hill Ed Wilson – President of Chicago based Tribune Broadcasting, University of Arkansas Howard Wood – Co-founder, Charter Communications and former President & CEO, Cencom Cable Television, Washington University Ross Perot, Jr. – Businessman and Real Estate developer, Chairman of Perot Systems Ed Fuller – President of Marriott International
  • David Einhorn – President, Greenlight Capital Cornell University John Thompson Dorrance – Founder Campbell’s Soup, MIT
    John F. Barrett – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western & Southern Financial Group, University of Cincinnati Paul Tudor Jones – Founder of the Tudor Investment Corporation University of Virginia Dan Rapoport – Financier and philanthropist, President of Rapoport Capital

Hazing is prevalent among American high school students. 48 percent of students who belong to groups reported being subjected to hazing activities. 43 percent reported being subjected to humiliating activities. 30 percent reported performing potentially illegal acts as part of their initiation. All high school students who join groups are at risk of being hazed. Both female and male students report high levels of hazing, although male students are at highest risk, especially for dangerous hazing. The lower a student’s grade point average the greater their risk of being hazed. Almost every type of high school group had significantly high levels of hazing. Even groups usually considered safe haze new members. For example, 24 percent of students involved in church groups were subjected to hazing activities. Hazing hurts children, emotionally and physically.

71 percent of the students subjected to hazing reported negative consequences, such as getting into fights, being injured, fighting with parents, doing poorly in school, hurting other people, having difficulty eating, sleeping, or concentrating, or feeling angry, confused, embarrassed or guilty. Hazing starts young, and continues through high school and college. 25 percent of those who reported being hazed were first hazed before the age of 13. Dangerous hazing activities are as prevalent among high school students (22%) as among college athletes (21%). Substance abuse in hazing is prevalent in high school (23%) and increases in college (51%). Adults must share the responsibility when hazing occurs.

Students were most likely to be hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed. 36 percent of the students said that they would not report hazing primarily because “There’s no one to tell,” or “Adults won’t handle it right.” (27%). Students do not distinguish between “fun” and hazing.

Only 14 percent said they were hazed, yet 48 percent said they participated in activities that are defined as hazing, and 29 percent said they did things that are potentially illegal in order to join a group. Most said they participated in humiliating, dangerous or potentially illegal activities as a part of joining a group because those activities are “fun and exciting”.

“There has been speculation and innuendo, especially on social media, regarding whether hazing played a part in the death of Tucker Hipps. So far, there has been no indication in the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office investigation that hazing played a part in the death of Tucker Hipps. Once again, the investigation is ongoing. Sheriff’s investigators continue to work with Clemson University, the Clemson University Police Department and the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity to determine the manner of death in this case.”When asked Friday if he still stood by the statement that this was not a case of hazing Crenshaw said, “At that time we saw nothing to indicate a hazing role lead to his death was an issue. Of course, our investigation has continued.

“I think it would be premature to speculate or to really jeopardize the case in any way what our findings have been since that date going forward until the investigation is complete.”Crenshaw said he considers it “unusual” that a group of boys were together and no one noticed Hipps was missing. “It leads us to think there’s someone withholding information or not truthful, or we’ve got the greatest mystery in the world we’ve got to figure out and solve, Crenshaw said.” Crenshaw said the investigation remains open. He said the solicitor’s office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are also involved in the investigation. “We want them to realize we’re not going away. We’re gonna keep knocking on doors. We’re gonna keep searching, Gonna keep asking until we get the answers,” Crenshaw said.

People join organizations for many reasons: they want to get involved, meet people, make new friends, explore interests, develop leadership skills and have fun. Groups need new members because they bring new ideas and talents, in addition to replacing old members. With the vast number of existing groups on campus, as well as new organizations, it is vital that an organization has a well-conceived and executed recruitment and retention plan. This information is designed to assist you in the development of such a plan. First, it is important that both the leadership and membership know and understand the organization. Have a meeting to review and discuss your organizational goals and objectives. Are they still accurate? Is it time to update them? Where would the group like to be in six months? A year? During this “organizational housekeeping” process, a certain theme or direction should become clear. What types of people do you need to help the group succeed?

Who would complement your current membership? Try to develop a member profile. Now that you know the types of people you are interested in, your next step is to set some recruitment goals. How many new members can your organization reasonably assimilate into the group? Will you allow people to join at any time or only during a designated recruitment period? Will you hold a mass meeting or is membership by invitation only? When designing your recruitment strategy, keep in mind your member profile. What places do these prospective members most likely frequent? Do they have special interests? What kind of publicity would attract their attention? But most of all, try to think back to when you first became involved. What attracted you? How were you recruited? If you weren’t, how did you hear about the group? Why have you stayed involved? Get everyone involved. Be Honest! Have your current members identify people they know who may want to get involved and personally invite them to attend a meeting. Word-of-mouth is the best and least expensive type of publicity that you can use. Talk about your group.

Tell people what you have to offer them. Ask them about themselves and really listen. Tell them how the organization can benefit from someone like them. Let them know how their talents, skills and interests would help the organization. Sending special invitations is another nice, but more expensive way to invite new members. Recruitment campaigns need to have a visual element as well. Have those members with “artistic talents” work on your posters, flyers, banners, etc. Be creative. Your publicity can be effective only if it’s noticed. Many groups find it beneficial to have a special welcoming meeting or ceremony for their new members. Group participation, in some form of official initiation process is one way to make your members feel wanted, needed and appreciated. It helps to form a unique and memorable bond between old and new members and will help increase your retention rate. However you choose to welcome your new members, it is important to include some form of group orientation program. Many groups skip this and begin by getting new members immediately involved in group projects.

Although new member involvement is essential, it is equally important to orient them to your group’s goals and objectives, organizational structure, rules and norms. This demystifies the group and helps the members feel more comfortable with the group and understand its processes. Proper orientation leads to better understanding, more commitment and less frustration. After you’ve successfully completed your recruitment and orientation, spend time getting to know your membership and let them get to know you too. Don’t forget your old members since, without them, you wouldn’t have had a group for your new members to join. Talk to all new members about their skills, interests and previous experiences. Once you have this information, it will be easy to get them involved in your group’s projects.

To be sure that their first organizational experience is a positive one, assign new members tasks that are well within their skill level and that they can successfully accomplish. Finally, allow your new members time to get involved and feel comfortable with the group. After a semester, have them participate in a group evaluation process. Go over your organizational goals and objectives and look at your plans for the future. Ask for their feedback and input. It is a known fact that people are more committed and motivated if they feel that they have a stake in what’s going on. Have them help to shape the organization’s future.

Teenagers Cannot Focus on their Studies

Teenagers that have difficulties with focus, concentration, and/or overload from anxiety before a test or with doing homework:

  1. First start and just notice their breath as it already is. This will first connect their head to their body, and if they are noticing their breath they hopefully aren’t noticing worry thoughts or focusing on self-judgments that they “can’t pay attention,” to take a break from these thoughts even if for a brief moment.
  2. Once they have noticed a few breaths, I encourage them to do a brief body-scan meditation, and I will offer this meditation in the room with them.
  3. Next, I ask them to visualize taking the test or doing their homework, and to see them completing it with ease and to remind themselves that they can do their best. This can assist in reducing the added pressure they have from themselves and from their parents.

Teenagers will Ignore their Family

Social science research shows that hazing significantly influences people’s perspectives on Greek organizations, and has also affected new members both physically and cognitively. A number of researchers such as Cokley et al. studied the cognitive impact of hazing on students by surveying members and non-members of organizations. For instance, Cokley et al. (2001) developed a Survey of Attitudes about Fraternities and Sororities (SAAP) to measure student perception about the role of pledging in Greek organizations. The survey focused on six factors that described attitudes towards Greek organizations: the purpose of pledging, the impact of pledging, conformity to pledging, rules, perceptions of Greek organizations, moral concerns, and beliefs about pledging difficulty.The results of the survey showed that more females than males believed that pledging should be a positive experience.

However, the results also showed that members of Greek organizations had a more positive view of Greek life and the pledging process in comparison to non-Greek students. The researchers concluded that “it is obvious that there are students who do value Greek letter organizations…likewise, it is apparent that when student’s perceptions of Greek letter organizations are uncritically positive, they become susceptible to hazing activities” (Cokley et al., 2001, par. 16). Hence, they argued that education about both the positive and negative aspects of Greek organizations should be given to all students, so that they can make a “fully informed decision about participation” (par. 16).Similarly, Campo, Poulos, and Sipple (2005) studied how college students’ behaviors and beliefs correlated to hazing. They conducted a 20-minute web-based survey via e-mail using a random sample of 2,000 undergraduates. They used “specific questions on team-building and initiation activities (TBIs) and were derived from a national survey of college sports teams and university judicial board records” (p. 139).

They found that drinking games and contests, as well as sleep deprivation, were the most commonly reported forms of hazing. Their results showed that students thought that hazing was in fact harmful, but they were neutral to their susceptibility to harm (p. 146). Campo et al.’s study concluded that “hazing is occurring on campus, although not always recognized as such by students” (p. 137).Further, it has been observed that attitudes about hazing practices, especially alcohol overdose, may vary between fraternities and sororities. Drout and Corsono (2003) conducted an experimental study of student perceptions on alcohol overdose by placing them in hazing scenarios in a fraternity and sorority setting. The scenarios involved fraternities giving the students controlled and uncontrolled overdoses of alcohol consumption. Out of the 231 students, the 78 fraternity members within the study tended to view their fraternity president’s authority as not responsible for the outcome of involuntary alcohol consumption and viewed their brothers the same way. However, the 34 sorority members of the sample population took the scenarios more seriously.

They felt more responsible for the overdose of alcohol consumption when the president was not involved. The researchers found that there were differences (not noted in the study) in beliefs on why overdoses occur among Greek and non-Greek individuals. Sororities and non-Greeks believe that it occurs because of a person’s need to be accepted into Greek-life, whereas fraternities believe that it occurs from a pledge’s over-willingness to please brothers. Overall, the researchers found that fraternities were more willing and accepting of alcohol overdose amongst the students than sororities or non-Greek students.Another reason for hazing in organizations is group solidarity.

Cimino (2011) studied hazing by surveying participants in strongly cooperative groups and weakly cooperative groups. He asked participants to picture themselves in high effort and low effort group activity and see if they were high or low contributors. The results were that participants desired more severe hazing in strong groups than in weak groups. In the second experiment he used the same model but improved the stimuli and removed threats to internal validity. In this experiment, participants were asked to focus on the benefits of “mutual group aid” (Cimino, 2011, p. 258). This group was found to desire more severe hazing in strong groups than in weak groups. Overall, these studies show that hazing is prevalent in Greek organizations and is practiced to maintain group solidarity. The practice can be harmful to its participants, though perceptions vary.


Where once it was perhaps thought of as an innocent bonding ritual within fraternities or sports teams, hazing is now recognized as a serious issue that can potentially harm or even kill. On college campuses, hazing can happen in fraternities, sororities, clubs and sports teams, and well as military ROTC programs.Hank Nuwer, a leading researcher on hazing, works with a concise definition of hazing in his book Wrongs of Passage: “Hazing is an activity that a high-status member orders other members to engage in or suggests that they engage in that in some way humbles a newcomer who lacks the power to resist because he or she wants to gain admission to a group. Hazing can be noncriminal, but it is nearly always against the rules of an institution, team or Greek group. It can be criminal, which means that a state statute has been violated. This usually occurs when a pledging-related activity results in gross physical injury or death.”

Currently, 44 states have hazing laws. Colleges and universities can play a critical role in ending hazing on campus. Just as with other crimes, engaging bystanders and assuring that they know how to recognize the problem and adequately respond can help reduce hazing.Many students believe that hazing is the only way for the group to bond and for new members to “achieve” membership in the organization. Understanding this, it is important for universities to educate students and pledges on alternatives to hazing that help promote group cohesiveness while not harming or humiliating new members.

Some organizations have outdoor activities like a high-rope course, which encourages members to work together while challenging them physically and mentally. Others might have camping or rafting trips or historical trivia of the organization or school. Connecting with alumni and other networking events, along with community services activities can also foster healthy bonding within the group.Schools need to have a clearly stated policy against hazing, including consequences for failing to abide by policy. Students should be able to access this information easily and be educated on it from their start at the school. Groups or teams should be sufficiently monitored, and the group advisors or coaches should go through training on recognizing and responding to hazing.


Not surprisingly, parents of student victims are outraged by the conduct and harm caused to their children, and they immediately look to school officials for answers and solutions. Unfortunately, the districts involved in several recent cases stumbled in their responses and failed to appreciate that these parents would not be mollified by anything less than a swift, unequivocal and comprehensive response. In a highly publicized case in Essex, Vt., older members of the girls’ gymnastics team required a 9th-grade recruit to eat bananas out of the zippers of boys’ trousers. Her parents were forced repeatedly to prod school officials to take action against the wrongdoers, but they often were met with implications their 14-year-old daughter bore blame for the incident. These implications enraged the child’s parents. In the aftermath, the school promised to discipline students and take other remedial actions, but it ultimately failed to follow through on its promises. The family retained counsel to impose significant changes and seek compensation. Now, the athletic director conducts a hazing awareness program and requires students to sign anti-hazing contracts along with formal agreements requiring students to refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

The students who participated in the hazing avoided litigation by issuing apologies to the family. The family received a confidential financial settlement and is working with the school board to develop a district wide anti-hazing policy. Make no mistake, this was a fairly straightforward, painless resolution for the school. Most large hazing cases cost schools far more. The solution to this problem starts with dispelling the time-worn, legally indefensible notions that hazing is a legitimate rite of passage, that this type of initiation is important or that it is just a matter of kids having consensual fun. Hazing degrades vulnerable young people. Next, dispel assumptions that this problem has bypassed your school and that your staff understands this problem and is implementing measures to prevent harmful conduct.

In virtually every case I have ever been called into, the coaching and administrative staff at the school had no prior training in this area and was generally ill-equipped to understand, prevent or respond appropriately. Hazing is not typically done in the open (it takes cover to hurt and degrade), and many students or faculty know, or have reason to know, it happens. Claiming ignorance is often a dubious defense because, depending upon the circumstances, lawyers can justifiably establish that the school had a duty to learn of and prevent the problem. The school and district must develop a comprehensive anti-hazing policy that provides specific illustrations of prohibited conduct. For ideas, start by reviewing your state law if you’re in one of the 41 states that have criminalized this type of conduct. The laws of Alabama, Maryland and Ohio are especially good examples.

NEWSPAPERS, TV, and radio, as well as the internet are filled with news about the fraternity hazing incident involving neophytes of Tau Gamma Phi fraternity members from St. Benide College of De La Salle University. The reports vividly showed how the initiation rites resulted in the tragic death of a promising 18-year-old student, an only son.All citizens are one in their reaction. This is unthinkable, despicable, and disheartening. My heart goes out to the parents and sisters, who are beside themselves with grief and unanswered questions about this. Why did this happen? Their son was reminded about not joining any fraternity. It seems that peer pressure, short of coercion and threat, forced their son to join. I need not repeat in detail the whole story here. It was bannered in trimedia accounts.In brief, the initiation started in a private residence in Makati of one of the “masters.” The hazing was done here.

The torturing procedure could be imagined by looking at all evidences in this house unearthed by the government investigators. Drugs, empty liquor bottles, bloodied paddles, and wooden planks. The place was in disarray. The windows were covered with tarpaulin to hide from view what is happening inside the house. All of these evidences clearly showed the horror of the hazing.After the hazing, one “master” who owns a condo unit near La Salle decided to transfer the neophytes who were by then worn off and badly battered to the point of exhaustion. They were taken to a room on the top floor. They were being dragged, especially the one who died, into the room. A very pitiable scene is seen when the limp body of victim was being dragged until he lost consciousness and died. Help was sought for by one witness.

Help came and the first aid tried to help but it was too late. The victim’s father was in tears watching the video clips after he recovered from the initial shock about the death of his son. No person seeing all these despicable acts will not feel angry and determined to do something to stop this once and for all. We still remember all the other promising young men who died due to fraternity hazing. All their parents are on TV expressing their regret about unresolved cases of their sons’ deaths. One was resolved recently after a 20-year wait and the guilty ones are now nowhere to be found. All of us must do our part to stop hazing.


  1. http://www.acui.org/publications/bulletin/article.aspx?issue=22642&id=12585
  2. http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/6120.html
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sigma_Alpha_Epsilon_members
  4. http://www.alfred.edu/hs_hazing/executive_summary.cfm
  5. http://www.wyff4.com/news/sheriff-answers-questions-about-tucker-hipps-death/31010552
  6. http://leadership.uoregon.edu/resources/exercises_tips/organization/recruiting_new_members
  7. http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2010/07/mindfulness-for-teens-an-interview-with-gina-biegel-lmft/
  8. http://www.ramapo.edu/law-journal/thesis/effects-hazing-student-self-esteem-study-hazing-practices-greek
  9. organizations-state-college/ http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/article/how-to-prevent-hazing
  10. http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=14384
  11. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/opinion/2014/07/14/hidalgo-fraternity-hazing-concern-everyone-353866
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Hazing Among Challenges Faced By Students. (2016, Sep 10). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/hazing-among-challenges-faced-by-students-essay

Hazing Among Challenges Faced By Students

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