Reports of Hazing at Brown University
A new report by The Brown Daily Herald revealed that new members of a local university men’s swim team were hazed on October 7, 2017. Some of the evidence presented to the news organization asserts that new recruits were forced to participate in vandalism, disorderly conduct, and possibly indecent exposure.
What’s Hazing Exactly?
According to Hazing Prevention, hazing is the deliberate act of using force, coercion, or threat to intimidate teammates. Victims are often ordered to participate in humiliating activities for initiation purposes.
Per the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), however, having only a mere expectation for victims to complete certain activities could be a subtle coercion into hazing.
Is Hazing A Criminal Act?
Per the University’s Director of News and Editorial Development, Brian Clark, an independent investigation is underway as hazing violates both the institution’s code of conduct and moreover Rhode Island state laws.
The women’s swim team also, are being investigated for claims of underage drinking.
The Brown Daily Herald was tipped off by a new member of the men’s swim team, who remains anonymous due to fear of retribution. Among the evidence presented were text and photo screenshots of the night in question as well as audio recordings. One of the images depicts a newcomer stripped down to his bare undergarments.
A saved email by the tipper also pointed to a skit titled “Freshman Activity Skit Script”, where newcomers were coerced into conducting humiliating acts that could potentially cause emotional or physical distress. Skits and Stunts are against the hazing prevention guidelines put forth by the NCAA.
The Herald reached out to the Deputy Chief of Police, Paul Shanley, who confirmed that a number of medical transports occurred on the night of October 7, 2017. And according to the anonymous tipster, this was likely the result of the mix of Tabasco Sauce and Vodka given to new swim team members.
The Brown Bear Athletics University exclusively prohibits hazing in its student handbook, which can be read here. Per the handbook, even if hazers specify that potential victims are not required to participate, this in and of itself, does not free the perpetrator/s from guilt.
The Law Office of John R. Grasso represents local college students in a number of criminal cases. We fight for victims and/or defendants who have been falsely accused of crimes such as hazing, sexual assault, and more.
To schedule a consultation with us, call (401) 272-4001.