Hazing no laughing matter

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 10, 2008

Fraternity or sorority pledges’ cries of “Thank you sir, may Ihave another?” in movies like “Animal House” may make the audiencelaugh. But there is nothing funny when incidents of hazing end upwith people having to go to the hospital.

Such was the case Aug. 28 at the University of Southern Mississippiduring a ‘little sister’ initiation for the Kappa Sigma fraternity.Two students were sent to the hospital with blood alcoholpoisoning, with one spending two weeks in the facility.

Instead of discounting the incident as typical college behaviorgoing a little overboard, authorities took strong and necessaryaction to combat the delinquent behavior.

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Eleven students have been indicted on misdemeanor charges of first-and second-degree hazing and conspiracy. If convicted, the penaltyis up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Hazing is a dangerous activity for those on both ends of thefraternity initiation “paddle.”

When carried too far, hazing risks initiates’ health and well-beingwhile those on the administering end risk a trip to jail. Neitherdestination should have to be a consideration when students go tocollege to learn and prepare for their futures.