College of Education and Human Development

NPR interviews Allan for report on hazing

Elizabeth Allan, professor of higher education at the University of Maine, spoke with NPR for the report, “Penn State fraternity death brings new attention to hazing.” Allan, who studies how prevalent hazing is and how to prevent it, defines hazing as, “Any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.” Allan surveyed college students and found many of them don’t even know that they have experienced hazing, according to the report. “When we asked students what they had experienced in order to become a member of their club, team or organization, 55 percent reported behaviors that would meet the definition of hazing,” Allan said, adding that only about 1-in-10 of those students said they had been hazed. Allan said it’s important for colleges to talk openly about hazing and its consequences, and campaigns should include more than just fraternities and sports teams. The goal is to have everyone in the community aware of the issue and willing to report problems, the report states.