Colleges, Universities Initiating National Movement Against Hazing - Higher Education: When two freshman students at Virginia State University lost their lives this summer in a river-crossing hazing initiation gone awry, it was a cruel reminder to educators, parents and students across the nation that hazing of any kind can quickly get out of control and yield unexpected and irreversible consequences.
It’s just two years shy of the tragic November 2011 death of Florida A & M University drum major Robert Champion. His death at the hands of fellow students engaged in a band unit hazing ritual brought heightened national attention to the decades-old practice that was in recent years increasingly getting out of hand.
Responding to the hazing “wake-up” call has proved to be more than a notion, say those engaged in challenging the practice.
“It’s the culture (at an institution) that has to change,” says Dr. Gina Lee-Olukoya, associate dean of students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a founder of Hazing Prevention.Org. “A freshman signing a piece of paper (promising not to engage in hazing and to report it when he or she knows of it) doesn’t mean the culture is going to change.”