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Center President Addresses Hazing

Deeply entwined within the fabric of our country, there lies an obstacle for many students that has persisted for far too long. Across the nation, our children, friends, brothers and sisters alike are burdened by this unnecessary adversity. While there is hardly a setting in which it does not occur, perhaps it is most disappointing that we allow it to take place in our schools. It has long maintained its place in locker rooms, athletic fields, dormitories and other student housing. By almost any interpretation of the law it is abuse, yet, very little it being done to combat it. Some attempt to justify it, most simply ignore it, but one thing is for sure: it is time for our society to get serious about the prevention of hazing.
A simple evaluation reveals that hazing is plaguing our nation. A 2010 study revealed that over 1.5 million high school students have been hazed. It also happens in clubs and even at the workplace. However, hazing has proven to be most prevalent at institutions of higher education. Research shows that 47 percent of college freshman have already been affected by hazing. At American colleges and universities, hazing has served for decades as a rite of passage for acceptance into sports teams, fraternities and sororities, marching bands and other groups. Some recent high-profile cases of hazing have shed light on the terror many have faced for years in silence. Subsequently, we have seen some laws be passed in underwhelming attempts to curb the cruelty. Nevertheless, this was hardly enough to stop hazing from continuing at establishments of higher learning. Far too few care enough to significantly reduce events of hazing, and even fewer understand the proper strategies for combating it.
As a matter of fact, a dismally low percentage of the population truly has a proper grasp on what exactly hazing is. If these people better understood what hazing was, who it affects, the affects that it has, why it occurs and how it should be handled, it is likely that we could drastically limit the trials and tribulations caused by hazing. Accordingly, it is essential for tactics, initiatives, policies and methods to be developed and implemented that extremely reduce occurrences of hazing in our country’s colleges and universities.
This is where Medaille’s Hazing Prevention Center comes in. The goal of this initiative is to raise awareness and ultimately thwart the hazing of students in our nation’s high schools, colleges and universities. The ambition of the Hazing Prevention Center is to educate others about the existence and impacts of hazing through a wide variety of media including: research studies, essays, documentaries and appearances in newspapers, radio interviews and at local schools. Additionally, much of our work will be consistently posted on the Medaille SPM website. This is a great opportunity for all Medaille students, particularly Sport Management majors, to get involved for the betterment of both the college and local communities. If you would like to participate in any way, you can e-mail me at ~ rz47@medaille.edu ~. Any contribution to the Hazing Prevention Center is appreciated and will go a long way towards fighting this problem. So let’s all do what we can to bring an end to hazing and the hardships it causes.

– Rocco Zambito, Jr.
Student President

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