For many college-bound freshmen, the start of the new school year is just around the corner. New freedom, new surroundings, and for most, new opportunities to meet new friends. This is an exciting life-transition into adulthood. It is a time when young adults are making important decisions for themselves, sometimes for the first time. Some of these decisions will impact the courses they study, and others will have life-altering ramifications. Just as you taught your son or daughter about bullying in elementary school, before you send your child off to college, prepare him or her for the realities of hazing.
Hazing is defined as any activity required of someone who is seeking to join or participate in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. Common hazing practices include alcohol/binge drinking, humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation and sexual acts. Additional hazing rituals that may lead to traumatic injuries include beating, branding, consuming nonfood substances and simulated drowning. Statistics reveal that more than half of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.