Many people have become confused about the definition of hazing is. Alfred University researchers defined hazing as, "Any activity expected of someone joining the group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. This does not include activities such as rookies carrying the balls, team parties with community games, or going out with your teammates, unless an atmosphere of humiliation, abuse, or danger arises" ( Farrey 2 ). Lycoming College is one of the fifty oldest institutions of higher teaching in the United States. The college has released an anti-hazing statement, in which it outlines the meaning of hazing. It says that hazing is "any action taken or situation created which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of any person or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in any organization" ( "Anti-Hazing Information" 1 ).
Hazing comes in a variety of different forms. In their anti-hazing statement, Lycoming College believes,
...hazing shall include, but is not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of an individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. ( qtd. in "Anti-Hazing Information" 1 )
Some of the documented cases are absolutely appalling. Take the case involving the wrestling team from Sunnyside High School in the state of Washington. In 1992, a 15-year-old boy was allegedly sodomized with a mop handle. The boy was hospitalized for a week with bleeding and internal injuries. Also in 1992, a member of the football team from Lodi High School (New Jersey) was duct-taped by the arms and legs at a football camp run by the team's coaches. While duct-taped, he had his hair cut off and other players spread feces and peanut butter over his body ( Nuwer 4 ). In another case, soldiers, who receive promotions, at Fort Hood in Texas, are punched as they walk between dozens of colleagues lined up in opposing rows. In 1991, a video illustrated Marines brutally forcing medals into the chests of parachute school graduates ( Landay 1 ). In another case, Sean O'Brien was hazed by his teammates on his high school football team. O'Brien was tea bagged; a ritual in which he was held down by his teammates, while another rubbed his genitals in his face. Other teammates watched the incident and laughed as it went on for five or six minutes. Later that day, O'Brien was shoved onto a chair and had a big line shaved into the middle of his head ( Fields-Meyer 68 ). In England, cricket players engaged in an activity called "fagging." This activity had younger players do the chores of veterans, accept physical abuse, and provide them money ( Farrey 2 ). In 2000, eight students on the wrestling team in Trumbull High School, (Connecticut.) hazed a new teammate. The police say the...