Hazing, again

In the following article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Douglas Fierberg, a lawyer who specializes in representing victims of school violence and misconduct, decries the ongoing pattern of dangerous hazing practices he says are invariably linked to dangerous drinking by fraternity and sorority members and advocates several strong steps he says will better protect college students. Among them: requiring colleges to disclose the record of infractions and penalties accumulated by Greek organizations on their campuses; requiring members of these student organizations to live in alcohol-free housing, and rejecting the system of chapter self-management by these organizations.

While heartily agreeing with attorney Fierberg that hazing and dangerous drinking remain serious problems on college campuses, CR believes that the solutions he proposes would not only be ineffective but also counterproductive. In our view, adding on reporting requirements won’t break the culture of dangerous drinking that already takes place far too often behind closed doors. And while substance-free housing is an appropriate alternative for students who want to voluntarily remove themselves from exposure to the campus drinking scene, it would be unrealistic to impose it on students simply because they choose to join a Greek organization. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, the idea of taking the responsibility of managing their own residential organizations away from students is completely antithetical to a primary goal of college, which is to teach and reward personal responsibility.

We urge you to read this article and draw your own conclusions.

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