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Conferencing Case Study: Hazing Misconduct Meets Restorative Justice–Breaking New Reparative Ground in Universities

Allena, Thom
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In David R. Karp and Thom Allena, eds., Restorative Justice on the College Campus: promoting student growth and responsibility, and reawakening the spirit of campus community. Springfield, Ill. : C.C. Thomas. Pp. 156-168.

While the Fraternity Executives Association officially discourages hazing in fraternities and sororities, the ritual of hazing is commonplace in Greek life at many large universities. It is employed often enough as a rite of passage – involving mental or physical discomfort, harassment, or ridicule – for those pledging to join a fraternity or sorority. Hazing frequently involves the use of alcohol, and it sometimes leads to unintended and harmful consequences. Thom Allena and Nora Rogers chronicle in this chapter a sorority hazing incident in a large public university in recent years. The incident resulted in physical and emotional injuries to two pledges, and it produced considerable adverse publicity for the sorority and the university. Allena and Rogers describe the incident and its consequences, as well as the response of university officials. In particular, they focus in detail on how university officials used a restorative justice intervention – actually, a hybrid of the community group conference model and “Open Space,â€? an organizational development approach employed to find common ground with large groups and organizations – to address the harmful effects of the hazing.


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