How the world’s scientists are coming together serves as a model for anti-hazing efforts

The following post for StopHazing was written by author and anti-hazing activist Hank Nuwer. For more information on Hank, check out his website at

These are tough times for all the world’s men and women. Without any self-whining or too many details, my wife and I have been affected. I chose to hand in my letter of retirement to Franklin College early this year before any of our public officials announced the realistic grim projections for the disease. WE have to find new housing out of state at a time all travel is restricted, and I, not a Polish citizen, cannot get to our safe haven, a cabin in a remote woods in Poland. Neither of us can get to our adopted state of Alaska since we are technically non-residents in spite of our summer 20 acres. But more than enough of my wife Gosia and me.

We are hopeful. Yes, hopeful.

What heartens me is the way scientists across the nation have foregone personal glory and scientific honors to share information on the coronavirus’s genetic makeup and other research findings. Here’s a short blurb from April 1st’s New York Times–and by the way, here is a shoutout to my journalistic brothers and sisters worldwide that have more than stepped up to inform all citizens about virus prevention.

While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history. Never before, researchers say, have so many experts in so many countries focused simultaneously on a single topic and with such urgency. Nearly all research, other than anything related to coronavirus, has ground to a halt.

Normal imperatives like academic credit have been set aside. Online repositories make studies available months ahead of journals. Researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences. More than 200 clinical trials have been started, bringing together hospitals and laboratories around the globe.

On a recent morning, for example, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that a ferret exposed to Covid-19 particles had developed a high fever — a potential advance toward animal vaccine testing. Under ordinary circumstances, they would have started work on an academic journal article.

“But you know what? There is going to be plenty of time to get papers published,” said Paul Duprex, a virologist leading the university’s vaccine research. Within two hours, he said, he had shared the findings with scientists around the world on a World Health Organization conference call. “It is pretty cool, right? You cut the crap, for lack of a better word, and you get to be part of a global enterprise.”

Dr. Duprex’s lab in Pittsburgh is collaborating with the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the Austrian drug company Themis Bioscience. The consortium has received funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, a Norway-based organization financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a group of governments, and is in talks with the Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world.

Yes, this heartens me and makes me confident that this virus, this monster, can be struck down and conquered. It makes me determined to join the fight against the wildlife trade that has put this virus into the now-dead and sickened bodies of suffering souls worldwide.

Like other hazing researchers, for decades they and I have said “good science is the only way to defeat hazing.”* This is why I founded the Hazing Research unit at Buffalo State College’s Special Collections under the tireless archivist Daniel DiLandro and why I publish information here about gains in hazing research by Elizabeth Allan of the University of Maine and numerous others. This is why I came back from a self-imposed short retirement to begin my research into the history of hazing and to create additional research into how many deaths have been caused by hazing.  I hope we don’t lose sight of the need to end hazing deaths even as we all pray for an end to so many other deaths in this brutal pandemic.

Blessings and stay healthy. Be kind to one another. Help whoever you can.  –Hank Nuwer, USA and Poland

*For an introduction to the importance of good research into fraternity and sorority life, I recommend you read online THE NECESSITY FOR RESEARCH ON FRATERNITY/SORORITY CULTURE by Patrick Biddix, Oracle Editor.

Clery Center and StopHazing Launch Hazing Prevention Toolkit for Campus Professionals®

STRAFFORD, PA – Campus hazing can have far-reaching negative consequences for individual students, their families, student organizations, groups and teams, and the broader campus community. To guide effective hazing prevention, Clery Center and StopHazing have partnered to develop a data-driven Hazing Prevention Framework (HPF)© based on principles of prevention science and findings from the Hazing Prevention Consortium (HPC). The HPC includes member universities dedicated to advancing a comprehensive approach and building an evidence base for hazing prevention through a three-year mentoring process with StopHazing’s prevention experts. To translate research findings into sustainable practices, the partners are releasing the Hazing Prevention Toolkit for Campus Professionals®.

The Toolkit simplifies the complexities of hazing prevention into manageable strategies and activities. “While effective responses to hazing are vital, the Toolkit emphasizes activities that prevent hazing before it begins. Designed with campus leaders in mind, it helps guide comprehensive hazing prevention,” said Dr. Elizabeth Allan, President of StopHazing and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maine.

“While we’re making progress, tragedies involving hazing and other campus violence still monopolize headlines. Too often we see the impact of hazing not only on hazing victims, but also on entire campus communities. Our partnership with StopHazing on the We Don’t Haze film opened the door to broader collaboration with the shared vision of giving institutions access to valuable tools to proactively address hazing on campus,” said Abigail Boyer, Associate Executive Director of the Clery Center.

“We want to promote a cultural shift so college students can have exceptional experiences of group belonging and leadership without hazing.” Allan added. “We offer the Toolkit as a step in that direction.”

For more information or to access the Toolkit, please visit:

StopHazing Releases Preliminary Evaluation of We Don’t Haze Documentary

In 2016, Clery Center worked with StopHazing to develop We Don’t Hazea free 17-minute documentary to promote hazing prevention on college campuses. The documentary shares the perspectives of students, family members, and professionals whose lives have been impacted by hazing, and touches on key themes in hazing prevention such as examples of hazing, how to recognize hazing behaviors, and alternatives to hazing.

In collaboration with Clery, StopHazing is conducting an evaluation of We Don’t Haze. Findings gleaned from more than 200 college students involved in campus organizations who watched the film point to its promise as a tool for education and prevention. For example, students who view We Don’t Haze are more likely than their peers to agree that:

  • Hazing is an ineffective way to build group unity.
  • They know how to create group unity without hazing.
  • They know how to identify and safely intervene to stop hazing.
  • They feel comfortable talking about why hazing is a problem.

Student feedback has consistently indicated that We Don’t Haze is a powerful film featuring stories, individuals, and imagery that resonate with a college-aged audience. As one student participant stated, “The real-life experiences that were shown in the film…brought so much perspective and light to what a horrendous thing hazing really is.”

Building off of the film, the We Don’t Haze facilitation guide and script provides support for campus professionals to have conversations with students around topics such as the definition of hazing, the difference between hazing and bullying, why individuals can’t give true consent to be hazed, and characteristics of hazing and non-hazing activities.

If you are a student, campus professional, or community member who would like to get more information on We Don’t Haze, the facilitation guide, and other companion resources related to the film, please click here or If you are interested in learning more about how We Don’t Haze can be evaluated on your campus, please contact

A week dedicated to hazing prevention

The following post for StopHazing was written by Lara Carney, an intern for StopHazing and a fourth year Journalism major at the University of Maine with a double minor in professional and creative writing. 

Students, colleges, and communities nationwide banded together the week of September 18 through September 22 to spread the word and recognize the harmful effects of hazing. This week, known as National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW), consisted of activities, contests, and other various events meant to educate others on the traditions of hazing and why it needs to end.

Hank Nuwer, a well-known advocate of the fight against hazing, posted on his webpage the Sunday after NHPW to highlight and give credit to athletes at Franklin College who went five days without drinking alcohol in honor of NHPW:

“Big thanks to Athletic Director Kerry Prather, Coach Andy Hendricks, coaches & athletes for doing what no other college has accomplished–sending a message that alcohol and hazing have hurt too many lives.” – Nuwer

The University of Connecticut held a new event each day as part of their own tenth annual Hazing Prevention Week. Special events included a poster contest dedicated to hazing prevention, a discussion about hazing people could follow on social media using the hashtag #huskiesdonthaze, and others. holds a NHPW Essay Competition each year that focuses on a hazing-related theme. This year’s theme was “Hazing Hurts – Stop the Cycle.” First place winner went to Ariel McLain from the Garrett Morgan School of Science in Cleveland, Ohio and her essay on how hazing rituals have become “normalized.”

“We brush [hazing] off as a normal part of social acceptance, or by saying everyone has gone through this at least once in their life. Some think that it is worth it, but at what cost?” – McLain

Pennsylvania State University joined the national movement to recognize NHPW as well. Students attended educational events provided by the university, including a short film called We Don’t Haze and a discussion that followed with associate professor of sociology and environmental studies, Nick Rowland. Penn State also held a lecture led by Travis Apgar, a student affairs professional working toward abolishing the hazing culture.

Below are some tweets from student life organizations and how they joined the fight to eradicate hazing during NHPW:

“Hazing in America” – confronting hazing culture

The following post for StopHazing was written by Lara Carney, an intern for StopHazing and a fourth year Journalism major at the University of Maine with a double minor in professional and creative writing. 

“If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t look right – get out.”

James Piazza gave this advice to any student planning on joining a student organization during a live event called “Hazing in America” on NBC’s Today show.

The parents of Timothy Piazza, a recent victim of hazing at Pennsylvania State University, were joined by their attorney, Tom Kline, and representatives Patrick Meehan from Pennsylvania and Marcia Fudge from Ohio to discuss the prevalence of hazing within colleges and universities.

NBC News featured the live segment on their “Hazing in America” page dedicated to covering recent news of hazing across the country. The video discusses the issues of hazing, how common it continues to be seen within colleges, and how to prevent it.

In a study done by NBC News earlier this month, 10,408 adults nationwide answered questions about their experiences and thoughts on hazing. Among those who were members of a fraternity or a sorority, almost half (41 percent) said they know people who have admitted to both hazing and being hazed. Sixty-six percent of current college students within the study also agreed that “hazing is a serious problem that needs more attention.”

It’s hard to spot the signs of hazing among students. The Piazza’s stressed the importance of children feeling comfortable enough to open up to their parents. That way they do speak up if they become a victim of hazing, or witness it happening to someone else.

Representatives Meehan and Fudge are co-founders of the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act that would require all college hazing incidents on campus to be reported. They spoke on how not enough is being done to prevent hazing at colleges. Fudge suggested examples like prosecution or expulsion so students would fear the repercussions of hazing.

“If there is not an aggressive posture towards the prosecution of [hazing], then there will not be deterrence,” attorney Tom Kline said during the live event. “There’s a culture of abuse and a culture of recidivism that we have here, and someone has to try to break it.”

– in effect, students don’t take the outcomes of hazing seriously, and continue to haze because of this.