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Gordie's Call

A national campaign to prevent alcohol abuse and hazing

Hazing Education

Hazing Fact

Hazing: Any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.

Educate to prevent hazing.

It is not uncommon for students to use terms like "tradition," "rites of passage," or "stunts," to excuse or deny hazing behavior. Some view hazing as leading to positive outcomes such as bonding, group unity, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of achievement. Even when students acknowledge that a groups' behavior may constitute hazing, they often justify the behaviors by discounting the seriousness or categorizing it as "low" level hazing. According to students, "low level" hazing is viewed as silly activities, scavenger hunts, drinking games, nudity, and sexual simulations that are often described as "fun." In labeling some behaviors as less serious, students fail to understand that activities that may seem like harmless activities to some can be uncomfortable and emotionally charged for others. An individual's past experiences with physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse can drastically affect they way they react.

Hazing is an abusive and destructive practice found on high school and college campuses and in organizations across the nation and worldwide. Hazing often robs people of their dreams and ability to trust in others and tragically robs many of their lives. Hazing can be subtle or violent. It is about power disguised as an event to create unity. The psychology of hazing is complex, but one thing is certain - the effects of hazing are deep and long lasting.

Information adapted from Elizabeth J. Allan, Ph.D., University of Maine; Mary Madden Ph.D., University of Maine - “Yeah, but it wasn’t hazing!"