The Culture of Hazing: Baylor University

Hazing refers to the practice of rituals, challenges, and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group including a new fraternity, sorority, team, or club. (Wikipedia)

In other words, a pointless, disgusting, sometimes criminal act to degrade someone for personal gain. 

The ritual of hazing has been present on college campuses for hundreds of years. In fact, there has been at least one documented hazing death a year since 1969. 

Baylor University, a private Christian University in Waco, Texas has a history with hazing, one documented death dating back as early as 1967 when John Clifton was forced to drink a concoction of laxatives and garlic that eventually led to his death. Baylor is just one in the long list of Universities that have had countless deaths due to hazing. 

The University of Miami paid out $12,600,000 to the family of Chad Meredith after a hazing ritual led to his drowning. In 2005, Florida passed the Chad Meredith Act, a bill that allows prosecutors to seek felony charges for hazing. 

At Baylor University there have been 125 reported sexual assaults from 2011-2015. Again, that number is the reported sexual assaults. How many sexual assaults have not been reported?  

Allegedly, 31 Baylor Bears committed at least 52 rapes between 2011-2014. Reports recently have claimed that sexual assaults have been considered a “bonding experience” for the team. That speaks volumes about the character of those part of that “experience”.

According to the Waco Tribune, stated in the seventh Title IX Lawsuit, the football team had a system of hazing freshman recruits by having them bring freshman females to parties to be drugged and gang-raped, “or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.”

Enough is enough. Lack of repercussion to the school, the players, and the program will lead to more and more heinous attacks. Whether a recruit is forced to drink until he loses consciousness or a student is sexually or physically assaulted, the students that are committing these acts need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Whether those committing these acts are psychopaths, sociopaths, or just weak minded individuals, one thing is certain, they lack conscience and empathy for their fellow peers. People like that have no place living amongst those they could harm, they should be locked up, or at the very least punished for their actions.

Furthermore, Baylor has no business having a football program. The fact that they still do after the hundreds of sexual assaults that occurred at that University can only mean one thing, the school cares more about money and football than they do about the well-being of their students. 

I hear criticism about professional sports all the time. However, the countless vile acts that are committed at Colleges and Universities throughout the country make some professional athletes look like choir boys. The acts are covered up by the school, and the violent, narcissistic culture remains intact. The culture to harm, degrade and humiliate their peers. Not inclusive of football programs, but fraternities, sororities and other sports programs and clubs. The desperation to fit in and be part of a group all while allowing abuse at the hands of their “friends”. It is downright disturbing. 

On June 1st, Baylor University will get its first female President, Linda A. Livingstone, formally of George Washington University. While ongoing investigations continue, Livingstone will do her best to do damage control and save the University from itself. Anything less than dismantling the football program would be a great disservice. 

Hazing will never dissipate completely. Still, increasing the punishment to those involved and the institute is vital.





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