Hazing refers to any action or situation that puts the mental, physical or academic health of a student in danger (Diamond et al., 2016). Such actions may include harassing, embarrassing, humiliating, ridiculing, causing discomfort or risk of injury to an individual or group. There are many reasons why people engage in hazing more so students. Some students may engage in hazing activities with wicked intentions because they enjoy the power they exercise on others while others may seek positive outcomes such as team building and group development. Irrespective of the intention, it goes against most university ethos statement as most of its benefits get overshadowed by its cost.
Hazing benefits students in that it promotes bonding among the hazing members. All members share a common goal and must work together to become initiated. They learn the boundaries of each other and put aside their differences and complete the tasks assigned by temporary overloads. Members also share memories together that they would laugh about later because whatever they were doing looked stupid and embarrassing. Members feel the sense of pride in continuing traditions. It is also fun to humiliate and intimidate others. To sum it up, the fact that it has to be kept a secret makes each member feel powerful.
Hazing besides the few benefits it offers students is a very costly act. Some of the personal impacts may include fall in grades and coursework, weakened relationship with friends and family members, and damage to one's reputation. Hazing can also bring a feeling of shame and guilt on participants. Apart from the personal impacts, hazing having been termed illegal, can land one into jail or get charged with huge fines. Hazing is also prohibited in most colleges, and those found responsible for hazing are likely to face sanctions ranging from participating in educational programming to getting suspended or expelled from college. To sum it up, there are several cases of student deaths resulting from hazing that has been reported so far. The current scandal involved an engineering student at Penn State campus (Allan & Madden 2015). The student, by the name Tim Piazza, lost his life during his initiation into the Beta Theta fraternity.
Based on the magnitude of negative impacts hazing has on students, it is a costly act which should not be condoned. For instance, the fact that it puts the life of participants at risk overshadows all its benefits. Even though the act is unlawful, it continues to run underground resulting in more and more deaths being reported every. To stop this act totally, the relevant authorities need to work closely with college administration in tracking down masterminds behind such acts.
Diamond, A. B., Callahan, S. T., Chain, K. F., & Solomon, G. S. (2016). A qualitative review of hazing in collegiate and school sports: consequences from a lack of culture, knowledge, and responsiveness. Br Journal of Sports Med, 50(3), 149-153. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095603
Allan, E., & Madden, M. (2008). Hazing in view: College students at risk. initial findings from the national study of student hazing (6th ed., pp. 20-73). New York. Retrieved from http://www.hazingstudy.org/publications/hazing_in_view_web.pdf
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