Here at the peaceful suburb of Cabrini College, the students don’t see hazing as a big thing, mostly thanks to Cabrini’s “No Tolerance” policy against hazing and other forms of violent or harmful initiation.
Katelyn Penrose, a sophomore elementary education major plays lacrosse for Cabrini. She says that she hasn’t had to partake in team initiations in college, but she participated in an initiation when she made her JV field hockey team her freshman year of high school.
“I had to wear a sandwich sign that had pictures and stuff on it, and a hand print on my butt. It said ‘Slap me,’ but it was fun.”
Becca Gallagher, a junior marketing major, is captain of Cabrini’s women’s field hockey team. She says that she has also experienced sports initiations; but not here at Cabrini. Her experience was during her freshman year of high school when she played field hockey.
“The upperclassman field hockey girls made all of us freshman hockey players dress up in these ridiculous outfits on the first day of school, like two different shoes and polka dot shirts and high socks and glitter hair bands. They also did our makeup so we looked like clowns. Then during lunch, they made us go into the cafeteria and sit on a senior football player’s lap and sing to them. It was the most embarrassing thing ever. I went home and cried,” Gallagher said.
Other athletes at Cabrini said they too didn’t have to participate in team initiations here; they just had to pay their dues as freshmen and carry equipment and water.
Kacie Green, a senior elementary education/early childhood education major, is captain of the women’s volleyball team at Cabrini and said that most athletes have no trouble following the rules.
“This year our team is very good about the “no tolerance” rule. We have a 24-hour rule for those that are 21, and everyone seems to abide by it. The team knows there will be consequences if that rule is broken,” she said.
This rule states that “…athletes over the age of 21 must abstain from alcohol consumption 24 hours prior to any athletic contest.”
Coaches at Cabrini say that hazing and insulting forms of iniation are not a problem here.
Bobbi Morgan, the women’s basketball head coach at Cabrini said, “This is my 20th year in coaching, and the zero tolerance policy exists pretty much across the board now-from grade school to high school to college. The problem with hazing, and that word encompasses a lot, is that even if something is meant in good fun, harmless fun, there is always a risk someone will take it too far.”
Frostburg State University, a division III school located in Frostburg, Md., had an incident where the team “fun” initiation went too far.
Six upperclassmen on the women’s field hockey team at Frostburg pleaded guilty to hazing six of their freshmen teammates.
These victims were pelted with eggs, flour and ice at the team’s annual “Secret Buddy Christmas Party.” The girls were also forced to drink without stopping and were even forced to sit in their own urine and vomit.
An 18-year-old freshman on the team was forced to drink so much that she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.365. Police found her being carried on campus by her boyfriend, and she was unconscious. The legal limit for drivers in the state of Maryland is 0.08.
The six women who conducted the hazing were each fined $300, received a suspended 60-day jail sentence and were also placed on a year’s probation.
Spokesman Ty DeMartino says that the women will also have game and team suspensions and will have to partake in educational sessions, according to ESPN.com
Now in order to join any kind of Greek life at Frostburg, participants must take an anti-hazing workshop.
Morgan has seen hazing first-hand when he was a high school basketball coach; this event didn’t happen on his team but it occurred on the school’s wrestling team.
“The wrestling team tied a kid up-he was a tiny freshman-in duct tape and literally rolled him up in a ball and then carried him out to the middle of the gym floor and left him there during basketball practice, and let’s just say he wasn’t wearing much. The kid was crying. He turned out to be okay, but no kid should have to go through something like that. He was humiliated, embarrassed, and he could have been hurt,” Morgan said.
Gallagher said that there isn’t much of initiation at Cabrini, but it is probably more of an issue at bigger schools.
“I’m sure at bigger schools and universities there is hazing going on. With sports and frats and sororities I wouldn’t put it past them to do some sort of initiation. I don’t think its really necessary for hazing. It’s actually kind of scary to think about the dangerous things that could happen if hazing got out of control,” Gallagher said.
Cabrini is a place where the students can feel safe and not have to worry about being forced to dangerous and humiliating things to be a part of a team. It is all about having fun and getting the experience, not seeing who can win a case race without making a trip to the emergency room.
Posted to the web by Brian Coary >