Hazing: from high school to college
Business English Composition II
February 3, 2010
Hazing: From high school to college
Hazing is a very serious act that is sometimes associated with bullying. Hazing is defined as an activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, risks emotional and or physical harm regardless of the person’s willingness to participate (Hazing, 2010).
Newcomers, football rookies, the freshmen class, new cheerleaders, and fraternity/sorority pledges must often endure pointless, humiliating, and sometimes dangerous rituals to gain acceptance within these groups. The group’s intentions are really to have a team building activity; however this is not the case. Hazing can very quickly turn from a harmless prank into a dangerous situation. So, although high school hazing may start out and seem harmless, it can escalate to being harmful, dangerous, and illegal as it crosses over into college.
Hazing has become so dangerous that numerous people have been harmed, and this has only occurred because the act has gone too far. Take for example, Casey Culpepper. All she wanted to do was join the volleyball team in her first year in high school. She knew there was a threat of an “initiation” and it haunted her the entire summer. One day seniors attacked Casey and friends after class and they were smeared with canned dog food, eggs, ketchup, mustard, horse manure, and pet feces. Then they were hosed off so hard that it hurt (Bushweller, 2000).
What is an Education? According to the Oxford English Dictionary one of the definitions of the word 'education' is: 'The systematic instruction, schooling or training given to the young in preparation for the work of life; by extension, similar instruction or training obtained in adult age. Also, the whole course of scholastic instruction which a person has received. Often with limiting words ...
Other students at the same high school were attacked with chemicals and waste from portable toilets. These students must now take powerful HIV drugs and undergo frequent AIDS screenings (Bushweller, 2000).
Their lives will never be the same after this harmful experience. Some students that have been hazed can even experience a kind of post traumatic stress disorder, a condition soldiers in combat sometimes suffer from when exposed to horror, terror, or shame.
Moving on to college, you would feel that this would be the most liberating, fun, and educational time for an individual. Well it is for most, but there are a few that feel they need to belong to something bigger than just their education. By trying to join fraternities and sororities the hazing rituals involved are sometimes so intense or foolish that death occurs. One sad example that comes to mind is the Nick Haben incident. Nick was 18 at the time when he was trying to join the college lacrosse team at Western Illinois University. Nick was forced to drink large amounts of alcohol, beer, jump over bonfires, and swim in a creek. He later passed out into a coma and died that night in his dorm (Bushweller, 2000).
How sad, but true. Fraternities and sororities are famous for their dangerous hazing practices. The movie “Animal House” is a prime example of what happens in college during these hazes. By the 1970’s alcohol became a part of almost every fraternity function including hazing. That would make those situations not just dangerous, but illegal also.
It would be nice to say that these issues stated above are few and far between, but unfortunately that is not the case. About 70 people been killed from hazing in the last 20 years, and there have been one death reported each year in colleges from hazing since 1970. Now this is not a true account, because there are so many victims that will not speak up in fear of the peer pressure. Peer pressure not only forces the victim to go along with such an act it forces the hazer to continue. Teens have a tendency to want to outdo one another. Teens see television shows such as “Fear Factor” and try to repeat the stunts without realizing the harm that may follow. Also, teens see their peers doing crazy things and as a result they want to join in. Administrators, coaches, and teachers believe that hazing is an acceptable tradition that should be continued (Nuwer, 2000).
College students all stress out about one situation/life generality or another. Some of these situations/life generalities are individuation, computer anxiety, ethnic and gender roles in student-athletes, and mathematics anxiety. There have been many studies looking at stress in college students. At one time or another, college students are forced to deal with a stressful situation. Stress, in ...
In conclusion, at the end of the day, the real question is what is the cost of hazing? Some
people think it is harmless. Others say that it helps build solidarity. However, there are much more constructive ways to build a team. Games of trust are better than ones that cause suffering and pain. However, through more detailed research we may be able to get a better understanding as to why this behavior continues, and at such high numbers.
Bushweller, K. (2000) Brutal rituals, dangerous rites. American school board journal. August
In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved February 1, 2010, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hazing
Nuwer, H. (2000) High school hazing: When rites becomes wrongs. Grolier Publishing.