22 College Hazing Rituals That Have Been Banned Due to Safety and Ethical Concerns

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Some of the best memories are made during college, where people get exposed to new friends and other opportunities. However, not all memories are pleasant, especially hazing rituals, which have been controversial. Many students are forced, bullied, and threatened to perform questionable acts and stunts. Here are 22 college hazing rituals banned due to safety and ethical concerns.

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Alcohol Challenges

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While college students may legally be eligible to consume alcohol, many such challenges revolve around drinking pressures people into drinking excessive amounts. Previously, these were usually held for fun but soon took a negative turn when some challenges turned fatal. These include alcohol poisoning, blackouts, extreme hangovers, and even losing their senses to wander off. Under the influence of friends or peer pressure, many students consume alcohol beyond their limits, which could result in long-term health consequences.

Physical Pain

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It was common practice, especially with the first-year students who were beaten, to measure their toughness or resilience. This hazing ritual was used to challenge the ego of seniors and test the newcomers, manipulating them into conforming to the definition of a strong person. The physical beatings often included punches, kicks, and paddling that instilled in many a sense of fear. This violent culture has now been banned to eliminate abusive behavior.

Humiliation

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This college hazing ritual often involves some kink or fantasy, which tends to amuse the crowd, forcing people into degrading acts. These acts include submission, simulation, and giving up control, which are used to shame students. Such acts are now banned to uphold the respect of the campus and the dignity of the individuals.

Forced Sleep Deprivation

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This hazing ritual pressures an individual to stay awake for longer hours, bullying them and breaking their mental resilience. These are done to cause extreme fatigue, so the individual succumbs to the demands and loses control. Students who refuse to do so are physically beaten and tortured using loud alarms to be kept awake. This not only harms cognitive functioning but also destroys the mental health and sleep patterns of the victims.

Extreme Physical Exercise

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College hazing rituals involving physical exercise pressure students to perform strenuous physical tasks. Students are pushed to perform hundreds of push-ups and long runs, failing, which would lead to them being bullied. Many students have been victims of these and face muscle pain and soreness the next day, which disrupts their college experience.

Fake Kidnapping

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Previously, especially in boarding colleges and hostels, students were kidnapped from their rooms as a joke and kept isolated for the rest of the night. These “pranks” were done to shame them and bully them into giving them money or revealing personal information. This not only causes stress but leads to permanent trauma, leading to anxiety attacks. Such cases cause distrust among other peer groups, making the environment tense and unsafe.

Food Deprivation

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Students who cannot stand up for themselves are often picked on, resulting in their food being stolen. They are often forced to eat dirty and inedible substances, leading to food poisoning and severe gut infections. Another aspect is the daily meals being robbed or forcefully taken by other students. Students are forced to accept their situations under various threats and pressured into such acts.

Nudity

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Hazing rituals revolving around nudity have led to several suicide cases and deaths among the youth. College students are secretly recorded and bullied using their undressed pictures, which leads to severe psychological pressure. Under the fear of judgment, panic, and stress, students make wrong decisions and often end their lives.

Vandalising Lockers

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Rituals regarding vandalizing lockers are a form of psychological abuse where students break into the lockers of other students, exposing their personal belongings or painting something over them.  With the installation of cameras and enhanced security, such acts are now banned but were prevalent previously. The students are shamed over the belongings they hold, and many items are stolen from their lockers.

Branding

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The process of branding, in this sense, involves marking other students’ bodies for the sake of amusement and enjoyment. This is usually done using hot objects, cigarettes, and sharp objects that leave a mark. These symbols are signs of humiliation, and students are forced to carry them. They harm the skin and can lead to long-term physical pain with the risk of infection and physical disfigurement.

Forced Crossdressing

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As modern society progresses, crossdressing and other gender identities are widely accepted. However, forcing students and bullying them to crossdress goes against the values of sovereignty and autonomy. Students are forced to walk around in shameful attires and bullied into showing behavioral traits of the other gender. These acts are banned as they do not promote inclusivity but rather demean other genders and affect students mentally.

Forced Servitude

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Students are forced to serve other students by performing demeaning tasks. Students are threatened and bullied into such acts, demonstrating subservience and publicly making fun of them. This power imbalance causes the oppressed students to take extreme steps in retaliation. This culture has been banned to prevent exploitation and promote equality and respect.

Sun and Heat Exposure

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This hazing ritual was also performed by many teachers and students alike, where they were forced to stand in the sun for several hours as punishment. Students were often subjected to punishments such as challenging them to test their endurance, leading to dehydration. Many victims have fainted and been admitted to hospitals due to such acts, which under extreme circumstances may lead to heat strokes.

Embarrassing Public Stunts

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The last thing any college freshmen would want is their college life marked with embarrassing moments and humiliation. Such stunts may be taken as a joke but get serious when students are forced into such scenarios. These may range from doing a task and uttering something to even entering places where it is prohibited. Such acts are done to make a laughing stock out of the student, affecting their life and future opportunities on the campus.

Stealing Clothes

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A significant component of this ritual is stealing someone’s clothes while they are in the restroom or busy showering. The students are left with no option but to call for help and leave the shower without any clothes. They are left vulnerable, often helpless and exposed if they do not have a towel. This is done to bestow a psychological impact of shame and anxiety, undermining the confidence of the student.

Drugs and Illegal Substances

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College parties and campus life do contain certain groups who try to promote illegal substances. Students are forced into consuming such substances and are abused under the effects of it. This is another reason many students have lost their lives and have permanently damaged their self-identity due to addictions.

Tattoos and Piercings

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On the surface, there is nothing wrong with either tattoos or piercings, but when these are forced upon students, it violates their autonomy. Many students are even pressured into making tattoos a symbol of loyalty for local gangs and political parties around the college campus. Such hazing rituals lead to emotional harm as these marks are permanent and can even go against their religious values. Piercings, on the other hand, without adequate measures or treatment, can cause severe infections and diseases.

Forced Consumption

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Every individual has their own set of allergies and food, which they are supposed to avoid. Hazing rituals of forced consumption feature student groups who force people to consume harmful and allergenic substances for their amusement. Forced consumption of substances has left students to become victims of health hazards and eating disorders.

Simulated Theft

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The ritual of simulated theft revolves around forcing students to participate in illegal acts, stealing items from others’ rooms to prove their courage and loyalty. Students are forced to break laws under peer pressure to prove they are worthy of being in the friend circle. In an attempt to conform to such demands, authorities often scrutinize students when caught in the act, resulting in expulsion. Such practices develop harmful habits for students who may indulge in theft outside the college campus for their benefit.

Forced Financial Contributions

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We never like the idea when we have to contribute to people we barely know or rarely interact with in our daily lives. While contributing to events and occasions may not be an issue, forced financial contributions from first-year students for personal gains are problematic. Students are forced to comply with the demands at the cost of physical violence, bullying, and shaming. This puts financial strain on the students, leading to debt, financial hardships, and personal finance management.

Emotional Manipulation

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 This is a familiar hazing ritual performed by seniors who set up people among a group who emotionally manipulated them. These are done for financial gain, multi-level marketing, or betraying someone else for a common cause. The students are taken deep into the rabbit hole where they unknowingly become dependent on the other person and fulfill all their requests. While there is no solution to this, and they necessarily have not been “banned”, students are dejected and hurt, which negatively changes their perception of bonds.

Simulated Drownings

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Swimming may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and hazing rituals such as simulated drowning involve submerging students underwater and creating drowning scenarios for fun. Many students are unexpectedly pushed into the pool, losing control and panicking. These are banned as students may develop a phobia, and the trauma induced by leaving a permanent impact.

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