For many organizations at schools across the United States, hazing is a part of joining. Hazing commonly consists of a ritualistic test and a similar task, and it is a popular way of initiating a person into a social group. These may constitute harassment, abuse, or humiliation and include requirements to perform random, meaningless tasks. The definition can refer to physical, frequently violent, or mental, possibly degrading, practices.
In the United States, hazing has resulted in numerous deaths and serious injuries. A recent death was of Matthew Carrington. Mr. Carrington was killed at Chico State University during a hazing ritual. As a result of the deaths, many states have enacted anti-hazing legislation. Because of this, hazing is considered a felony in several states.
Hazing activities can include a variety of kinds of ridicule and humiliation within the group or in public. In many instances, the activities could easily be considered abuse if the candidate was not a consenting adult. Other activities are quite innocent and are more akin to pranks. Some common forms of hazing include:
- Tedious cleaning
- Being forced to eat or to drink excessive quantities
- Eating food or drinks from absurd containers
- Pledge Auction
Many organizations use hazing as a way of promoting unity and camaraderie among the members of an organization. It is believed that the process can evoke Stockholm Syndrome.
If you have been injured in an episode of hazing, contact the Wausau personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-248-0171 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.