We at the Record commend College Council (CC) for taking swift action following the complaints against Frosh Revue for violations of the College’s anti-hazing policy. Based on the policy, we believe that CC was right to punish Frosh Revue for actions that occurred during its annual “Hell Week” that clearly crossed a line. Hazing is a serious offense that cannot be tolerated on this campus, and CC sent a strong message to the community in this regard.
We believe that, given the options available to CC for punishing the student group, CC took the most appropriate avenue. However, the punishment handed down by CC will not impact Frosh Revue that significantly because Frosh Revue does not receive funding from CC. Thus, we worry that the punishment may not prove to be effective. The part of the punishment that we believe will have the most positive impact is the requirement that the group go through training with the Office of Student Life, which will hopefully have a positive impact on the group culture.
It is a shame, however, that it seems that those who came forward with the accusations of hazing are the ones being punished rather than those who actually committed the hazing. It is this year’s first-years who will direct next year’s show and have to go through training rather than those responsible for the hazing. We at the Record recognize that it is difficult to separate the culture of a program from the perpetrators of specific acts of hazing, and for this reason, we believe that punishing the entire group may have been the best avenue to prevent this from happening in future generations of Frosh Revue. We also believe, however, that the College should punish the directors in a separate process from that of CC. As directors, they accept responsibility for the group and for their own actions, regardless of what happened in the past. Hazing is a violation of the College’s code of conduct, and this should not go unpunished. There should also be an investigation into previous years’ directors. This is likely not the first year that acts like those brought to the administration’s attention have occurred – it is just the first time that any first-years have formally complained.
We at the Record would especially like to applaud the first-year or first-years who came forward with these accusations. It is difficult to bring such accusations to light, but we as a community need to encourage and protect those who do so. It is often only through reporting that the College becomes aware of violations of its anti-hazing policies, and it is only through this awareness and the consequences that follow that we can strive to change the culture in these programs. These first-years have set a great example for the rest of the community, and hopefully others will see this example and not sit by and watch as they or others in their groups are subjected to hazing.