Criminal Law

Crim. Law Journal Fall 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 4


Occasionally, the Criminal Law Journal will focus on one single issue in the law. This edition, we are pleased to present articles all dealing with the timely subject of hazing. Merriam-Webster defines hazing as "the practice of playing unpleasant tricks on someone or forcing someone to do unpleasant things" or "an initiation process involving harassment". Most fraternities and sororities have national governance, anti-hazing policies, and zero-tolerance policies for hazing. However, despite that governance and those policies, hazing is prevalent in the fraternity world. Most states have anti-hazing laws, making hazing a criminal act. There is no national anti-hazing legislation.

The articles in this edition discuss the various laws relevant to the prosecution of incidences of hazing, language used by certain fraternities to underscore their tacit endorsement of violence in hazing, and, finally, a discussion of the paddle as a symbol and keepsake of membership in a Greek organization. The articles are insightful and shed light on an activity that is reviled but has persisted for centuries.

Anne Perry


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