Volume 92, Issue 38

Wednesday, November 11, 1998

thank you


True haze

Re: Hazing report line sparks football sanctions, Nov. 3

To the Editor:

Hazing is an archaic ritual that must come to an end. Hazing's defenders – not confined to football circles – use apologist terms like "tradition" and "team-building." Hazing is neither respectable nor essential.

As a Western student and London citizen, I am intolerant of this immature, immoral and illegal nonsense being protected. I hope to expose the nature of hazing activities to disable the protective environment at Western.

In criticizing the system, I too must take some responsibility. I joined the men's rugby team at Western in September 1995. Against my better judgement, I willingly arrived at a rookie scavenger hunt meeting – the lists were distributed at practise when the coaches were conspicuously asked to move from earshot – where rookies were sent to obtain items including road-kill, personal pornographic pictures, panties and flag-sticks from area golf courses. I went along for the ride that night, both literally and figuratively.

As teammates stole flag-sticks from Llyndinshire golf course and a stop sign from Masonville Place, I was, regrettably, too weak to protest. I managed to excuse myself that night and the following morning and I humiliated myself before coaches and teammates in renouncing this behaviour.

Nothing was done to stop it. I was told rookie night included naked rookies consuming alcohol poured off a teammate's buttocks. WELCOME TO HIGHER EDUCATION AT WESTERN, WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU.

The adults who are in charge at Western may claim not to know about hazing, but they ought to know. I believe top-down leadership on this issue is needed in addition to a tribunal system to investigate transgressions. I do not wish to bring the university into disrepute but we must acknowledge that this reputation is tainted with the tacit consent of hazing.

Chris Silcox
Political Science IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1998