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Dr. Elizabeth Allan
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Higher Education
Despite policies against hazing at virtually every school and college in the country, the practice continues in student groups ranging from athletics teams and fraternities and sororities to theater clubs and marching bands. A first-of-its-kind nationwide research project to study the prevalence and nature of hazing in colleges and universities found that more than half of the students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experienced hazing, and nearly half of them experienced hazing prior to coming to college. The initial findings of the “National Study of Student Hazing: Examining and Transforming Campus Hazing Cultures,” released in 2008, also found alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation and sex acts among the most common hazing practices across student groups. The principal investigator of the national study is Elizabeth Allan, who has researched and written about hazing for more than a decade. The national data, gathered from more than 11,000 undergraduate students at 53 colleges and universities, is part of the most comprehensive study of hazing to date. It is expected to help colleges and secondary schools develop policies and programming to prevent hazing. The expertise of Allan and the survey’s coauthor, Mary Madden, an associate research professor also in UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development, brought the sixth annual National Hazing Symposium to campus in early October 2009. The symposium drew 50 hazing researchers and experts and showcased a new UMaine initiative, the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention, led by Allan.