Hazing Paper/Fifth Draft

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Hazing Paper Fifth Draft--Plaz 17:46, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

Word.PNGA Microsoft Word version of this revision is available here

Hazing is a very dangerous form of bullying. About 70 people have been killed by hazing in the last 20 years (Facts.com 2). “’Hazing’ refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group … that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate” (Hazing Defined 1). Most hazing deaths occur because the act goes too far; the hazers get carried away. Their intention is to have a team building activity or make sure members are up to snuff (Facts.com 2). However, this is not what really happens. The acts often cross the line, and the victims do not complain because they want to join the group (Facts.com 2). Teens often want to outdo one another; each year, teens do something more dangerous then what happened to them while they were the victims (Bowers 1; Bushweller 3). Not only can these acts be dangerous, but they are also an “abuse of power and [a] violation of human dignity” (High School Hazing). If teens can be educated that this hurtful and inhumane act of bullying is forbidden in high school, then they will know that it is not acceptable in college, where hazing becomes the most dangerous. Although high school hazing starts out and seems harmless, it can quickly escalate to being harmful, dangerous, and illegal.

Hazing can very quickly turn from a harmless prank into a dangerous situation. In most cases, the victim will still take part because they want to join the group. Take for instance, Casey Culpepper. She wanted to join the volleyball team her first year in high school. All through the summer, the threat of the "initiation" haunted her. One day she and her friends were attacked by seniors after class and smeared with concoctions that included canned dog food, eggs, ketchup, mustard, horse manure and pet feces. They were then hosed off so hard that it hurt (Bowers 1). Other students at Western Branch High School were attacked with chemicals and waste from portable toilets. These students must now take powerful HIV drugs and undergo frequent screenings for AIDS (Bowers 1). Their lives will never be the same after this harmful experience. Nick Haben was 18 when he was forced to consume large amounts of hard liquor and beer, jump over bonfires, and swim in a creek. He was just trying to join the college lacrosse team at Western Illinois University. He later passed out into a comma and died that night in his dorm. No one bothered to bring him to a hospital and save his life (Bushweller 2).

As you can see, the problem only gets worse after high school. Fraternities and sororities, tight social clubs in college based off the Greek system, are notorious for their dangerous hazing practices. The movie “Animal House,” is a showcase of the problem in popular culture. Hazing and physical abuse in fraternities began with class fights between freshmen and seniors in the late 19th century and was based off military initiation rituals (Facts.com 5). By the 1970’s, alcohol became a part of almost every fraternity function, including hazing (Facts.com 6). Alcohol impairs one’s ability of judgment and the ability to know when to stop a dangerous situation. In fact, according to Eileen Stevens, the president of the Committee to Halt Useless College Killings (CHUCK), alcohol is a factor in 98% of all fatal hazing incidents (qtd. in Facts.com 6). In addition, this figure does not contain the incidents that college officials classified only as alcohol-related incidents (qtd. in Facts.com 6). This is why college is when most hazing turns fatal. However, teens in high school also drink alcohol and their judgment becomes impaired too. If students in high school learn that hazing is unacceptable, they will say no to hazing in college. Hopefully, they will recognize that they are being put in a dangerous situation and ask the hazers to stop. However, most people are afraid to speak up when they are being victimized by hazing.

Hazing victims do not speak