Hazing Leads to Lawsuit Against Upstate New York College
Hartwick College is constantly getting bashed in the media for the hazing issues that have surfaced throughout the years. This new lawsuit against the college, I feel, is a bit ridiculous to a certain extent. Again, I'm treading on rough waters here because it is my alma mater, there was alleged hazing, and I'm not involved in Greek life. So, I ask you to keep an open mind throughout the post.
The new lawsuit is a result of a former student who reported Alpha Omega Delta for hazing him and his peers last Spring. He claimed he needed to receive medical attention after being paddled. He also stated he was forced to wear a pimp costume and was locked in a bathroom filled with strobe lights and loud music with the other pledges. His statement never stated he wanted to opt out of these events. Why didn't he just simply say 'no'? He is a human. He has rights. He let these frat members degrade him, when he could have stood up for himself.
I'm not saying the fraternity isn't in the wrong either. Their actions were simply sketchy as it is. They did haze these students, and they have been punished by both the law and school. It makes other fraternities look bad, but it's also an eye-opener on what goes on in this world, especially college life. Hartwick's frats are not the only fraternities hazing, they're the ones that just got caught.
My next issue with the lawsuit is why the student is suing the school. Ok, I get it, he's emotionally distraught after this ordeal, but it was his decision to partake in these activities. Hartwick College did not force the former student to go to the frat and lock himself in the bathroom. His peers did. He left campus on his own, and went to the frat house.
Hartwick has taken huge steps in anti-hazing campaigns. I recently finished my athletic career with the school, and I have participated in anti-hazing activities that the school required us to do since I started college. The college has taken the same stand that UAlbany has taken with the St. Patty's riots. Like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink. In this case, you can bash a concept into cocky frat brothers' brains, but it doesn't mean they'll follow the rules.
There has been a lot of feedback on this event. Everyone has been choosing sides, and I've tried to keep an open mind. There was this insane rant on Barstool, which I think nailed the whole ordeal perfectly. I encourage everyone to read the article and the comments. With any lawsuit, you have to think, is the ordeal you're putting yourself through now worth it in the end. Google this incident, and the kid's name is everywhere. It'll be pretty embarrassing being known as "the kid that let other guys spank him" for the rest of his life. There have been far worse hazing situations (way worse), and this incident has simply been blown out of proportion.