Commentary: Hazing, or abuse by any name?

The Raleigh News & Observer
A lawsuit claiming that a 19-year-old sophomore at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory died as a result of a violent hazing will again bring to the forefront the old and occasionally deadly initiation “custom” most often associated with college fraternities.

As some sort of test of loyalty or toughness or just for strange, misguided fun, some fraternity pledges have long had to endure rituals involving drinking, or beatings, or other forced traumas to earn membership.

In response to deaths or injuries from hazings, most states, including North Carolina, have passed laws making hazing illegal. But on some campuses, and it remains to be seen whether Lenoir-Rhyne is one of them, hazings seem to have been sort of tolerated with a collective shrug of the shoulders. Full story.


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