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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Staff Editorial

Universites need harsher punishments for hazing

Schools across the country deal with issues of fraternity hazing every year, but many choose to ignore the problem instead of working to fix it. Tuesday, officials at Prairie View A&M University made it clear that they take hazing very seriously.

Administrators at the school decided to disband the Prairie View chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity after concluding that it had violated school hazing rules, resulting in the death of 20-year-old pledge Donnie Wade Jr. Officials also determined that members covered up the circumstances surrounding Walsh’s death.

The announcement was handed down one day after the anniversary of the birthday of Jack Phoummarath, a University of Texas at Austin student who drank himself to death at the encouragement of his fraternity during another bout of hazing.

It’s good to see Prairie View send a message to students that hazing won’t be tolerated, but the message needs to be stronger. The fact of the matter is, fraternities have been hazing pledges since well before Animal House, and no school yet has created an airtight policy to keep this tradition from continuing.

Fraternities don’t seem too worried about the consequences of their actions, as they continue to get away with breaking not only school codes, but also standards of human decency.

Universities need to update the rules. In fact, they really only need one: you haze pledges, you’re out.

No second chances, no letting students’ rich parents or benefactors influence a decision. If a student puts someone else’s life in danger, their academic career needs to come to an abrupt end.

Not sending a message this severe only serves to embolden fraternities to continue acting as they have in the past. After all, when the worst that can happen to fraternity members is losing the free house they and their friends get drunk in, why in the world would they be motivated to change?

UH and every other college in the nation needs to implement a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hazing. Not doing so would only show a lack of caring on the school’s part.

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