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What Are The Hazards Of Hazing And Why Does It Happen?

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The death of a 20-year-old fraternity pledgein San Marcos led Texas State University to suspend all Greek life activities this month. 

The incident is suspected to be the result of excessive alcohol, similar to other deaths induced by hazing-related activities at state universitiesin Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, which all enacted the same ban. 

Hazingis an action or situation created to cause embarrassment or harassment towards members of a group, regardless of a person's willingness to participate. 

Although the result could risk emotional and physical harm to individuals, these secretive practices are known to take place within athletic teams, professional organizations and extracurricular activities. 

Since 1838, there have been more than 200 hazing-related deaths of university students - 40 in the last decade, according to data. Alcohol poisoning is most often the cause of death. 

Notable reports citing hazing have cropped up around San Antonio in the last year, including a federal court case around the sexual assault of student athletes in La Vernia and the suspension of seven Bexar County Sheriff's deputies for a hazing incident recorded on video. 

Are hazing practices becoming more dangerous or are more individuals ready to speak up? What are the psychological effects of hazing and why are people compelled to take part in a practice that hurts them? 

Why does hazing happen and how can it be prevented?


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.