As the new academic year gets underway at college campuses around New York State, hazing is back in the news and an ongoing issue at SUNY campuses.
A front page article in today’s New York Times focuses on the serious problem of hazing at Binghamton University, where officials suspended pledging last spring. The Times cites several examples from students:
- A student that claims they were “hosed, waterboarded, force-fed disgusting mixtures of food, went through physical exercises until I passed out, an crawled around outside in my boxers to the point where my stomach, elbows, thighs and knees are filled with cuts, scrapes and bruises.”
- Another student reported being forced to eat concoctions intended to make pledges vomit on each other and to hold hot coals from hookahs in their hands.
- Reports at one unsanctioned fraternity of “rigorous exercise, alcohol consumption, paddling an ‘waterboarding.’
- Other complaints listed freezing showers, walking barefoot in snow and branding on the legs, back or buttocks.
Hazing isn’t just limited to Greek life. Geneseo just announced that its women’s volleyball season has been suspended amid allegations of hazing. According to police and court documents, freshman players of the team were handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to drink vodka shots during an initiation party. One was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.
Hazing is an issue being addressed on all SUNY campuses. It is important to recognize the signs that someone has been a victim of hazing and understand their rights. Please feel free to contact our offices for more information if you have been a victim or suspect someone you care about has been a victim. Also, the following articles offer more information: