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Apparent hazing situation. I will let whatever investigation speak for it and will make no conclusions on anything...

 

From the Athletic Website:

 

UALBANY STATEMENT ON ALLEGED HAZING BY MEMBERS OF THE WOMEN'S LACROSSE TEAM

 

Albany, N.Y. -- Statement by University at Albany Vice President and Director of Athletics Lee McElroy on alleged hazing by members of the women’s lacrosse team (Wednesday, May 31).

 

“The University at Albany and its Department of Athletics today learned of allegations that hazing took place involving members of the women’s lacrosse team during the 2005-06 academic year. Hazing has no place in the University community and is clearly defined in both the University’s Community Rights & Responsibilities and the Student-Athlete Handbook.

 

"UAlbany will conduct a complete investigation into the allegations. I am contacting all athletic department staff, coaches and team members to ask for their full cooperation. If following a complete investigation it has been determined that a violation of the existing policies has taken place, we will implement appropriate measures. The University takes hazing seriously and will work diligently to resolve this matter.”

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Though long, I think this is an important read defining the difference between partying and hazing.

 

William Schutt, though wanting to do something I agree with (elimination of hazing) has shot himself in the foot on this one. There is a line between HAZING and PARTYING.

 

With Schutt, I can agree on one thing, hazing is a very dangerous and needs to be taken care of.

 

However, Mr. Schutt is very close to crossing the legal "Rubicon" of slander. His unabashed characterization of teams (and schools I might add) as the "DIRTY THIRTY," followed by unsubstantiated claims of hazing, lack credibility at this point other than depicting events moms and dads do not want to see of their children. Simply put, the photos, while proffered in the hope of eliminating a problem existing on college campus' since the 1800's, seemingly do not support the position that events depicted were "hazing events."

 

A blogspot does nothing but offer a man's opinion of the depicted events; they in fact DO NOT offer an authoritive view as to the events in question. It does not suprise me that Mr. Etkin, in a consternated effort, derides these women at UA without interviewing the girls who were, as intimated, forced to do things they would normally not do. The issue comes down to voluntary and unvoluntary behavior.

 

The term hazing, as defined in the manner Etkin and Schutt use as a means to their end, means: To persecute or harass with meaningless, difficult, or humiliating tasks. To initiate, as into a college fraternity, by exacting humiliating performances from or playing rough practical jokes upon. The question unanswered (or even delved into by Mr. Schutt and Mr. Etkin) is whether or not the UA players were participating voluntarily. Hey, I did some stupid things in my time that are captured by pictures...yet they were voluntary. They may be against the mainstream of America...but they were still voluntary.

 

Team Captain Donahue clearly states the players were not forced to do anything. Last I looked, tradition nor voluntary action could be adequate synonyms for hazing (though systematically, there can be a tradition OF hazing.)

 

If Mr. Schutt or Mr. Etkin would like to see pictures of hazing, or hear stories of dread, I will gladly pull out my pledge pictures and uniform (both of which my mother saved because of the insanity of the condition they were in after 14 weeks of pledging...to show to any children I may have in the future as a course in WHAT NOT TO DO).

 

You would see tattered clothing and boots. You would see pictures of pain.

 

What you would not see are pictures of us licking a woman's face (that would be too much of a "treat" as defined in hazing). You would not see pictures of humor or smiling. IN fact, you would see no pictures of us hugging each other with happiness to be at the event. The only smiling pics would be post pledging. In fact, during must hazing events, outsiders are NOT even allowed to be present.

 

I have reviewed nearly 80% of Mr. Schutt's blog, something it is apparent Mr. Etkin failed to do because he lacks any insight regarding the contents of the site other than to explain Schutt is an ex-employee of the UA athletic dept. The pictures do not capture the scenes of pain, dread, and exhaustion associated with hazing. They do not encapsulate the "forcible" nature associated with the definition of hazing.

 

They do, however and without question, show jovial scenes of college life: hugging, laughter, stupidity at its best, and of course drinking. They depict some acts you or I may not agree with (heads being shaved, drawing on bodies, drinking). Again, these acts do not rise to the form of hazing if voluntary.

 

As a member of g-d knows how many sports teams and of a fraternity that feature members from the lacrosse, football, rugby, wrestling, crew, baseball, soccer, hockey and basketball teams at UA, I witnessed and participated in the "rookie night" and "senior night" traditions for four years. As a person in a high leadership role in a fraternity, I witnessed the horrors of certain hazing events.

 

The two CANNOT, and should not, be compared. Hazing is a horrible and dangerous action. An "open rib" line-up...is hazing. Chugging 6 bottles of tequilla between 12 guys in 30 minutes...is hazing. Lining up naked in a damp and cold basement...is hazing. Forcible labor...is hazing. Eating food made up of beer, ham glaze, tuna fish, oven grease, dog food, and who knows what...is hazing. But these events all had a common thread: they were forced upon us, and even sadder, BY US! I take no pride in the fact of some events I forced people to take a part of. In fact, I loved my fraternity brothers...but I am sickened by some of my own decisions made prior to finally helping the brotherhood as a whole reject hazing.

 

Events depicted on Mr. Schutts "Dirty Thirty" photo montage (laughter, drawings on bodies, shaved heads, keg stands, funnels, etc.) are not scenes of hazing based on photos alone. The pictures, at first glance, show happy "campers". Were the events voluntary? Who knows. But we cannot also assume the events were hazing either. Fact is, other than ostericization by their teammates (the worst case scenerio), a player who refuses to participate will not be cut from the team. A pledge, however, will be tossed from a fraternity/sorority if they refuse to participate, hence the involuntariness of the events.

 

In lieu of the fact the pictures Mr. Schutt shows on his blog are more of the latter, rather than the former, it is my opinion his blog should not be taken seriously. Further, his charges are hurtful to the Universities (some of the finest in the land) and the students.

 

If Mr. Schutt offers some qualitative factual assertations that the events were forcible (e.g. interviews, claims of students, etc). as the definition of hazing predictates, then I would take him more seriously.

 

HAZING is a serious issue. So is this constant barrage, since the DUKE incident, of the media using half-stories in support of what tbloggers and media types like to call "the facts" in order to sell more papers or advertising space.

 

Hazing and tradition are seperated in these instances by a simple phrase: CONTEXTUAL BEHAVIOR; is it voluntary or not. The NCAA should do something about hazing, and to that extent so should Albany. It should be noted both parties have, in the past and seemingly for the future, taken preventative measures. However, much like the drug wars, hazing can not be stopped, rather it can be contained.

 

To contain a problem, we must focus on the context and facts, rather than depicting some RANDOM photos found on the web AS FACT without support.

 

Mr. Etkin and Mr. Schutt have both chose to do so in order to advance their own agendas, though veiled behind photographic "proof" of a sensitive and IMPORTANT issue in American College Life.

 

The worst part? Though I agree with their basic premise, such agreement is clouded by their lack of insight regarding the difference between hazing and voluntary behavior. Further, it will do as much harm as it will do good (the bringing to light of a serious problem) because the issue does not match with the facts in this instance. The line is blurred.

 

I guess I should now file an ex post facto claim of hazing because I, along with the other rookies, chugged beers on my high school's roof while the seniors watched and laughed. That VOLUNTARY ACTION is now considered hazing according to Mr. Etkin and Mr. Shutt.

 

The only difference between that event and the UA women's lax team is one thing: We weren't stupid enough to post it on the web, or even in photo albums because we knew underage drinking was wrong.

 

On this...Mr. Etkin and I agree!!!

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Well, we get most of the T-U sports front page on this one.

 

Web ensnares UAlbany team

 

and Etkin comments

Their eyes don't see a problem

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Two comments that may or may not be related:

 

1)this is the same issue that came up involving the Union College women's soccer team

 

2)while front page stuff for the TU, I don't think the UA situation even got reported in today's Schenectady Gazette sports section (may have been after deadline, or maybe it was a TU "exclusive")

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Didn't see this third story Colleges learning a tough lesson

 

I hesitate to call attention to it, but that Etkin doesn't realize that the photo "Julie licking Toch" may connect the WLax team to another team shows how little he knows about us.

 

Shocked! SHOCKED!! as I am that college freshmen women (even my daughter?!) may be drinking beer and body-rubbing men, I have to think that, keyed by the Duke mess, we've hit the point where hack sportswriters can get easy headlines during the slack season until something really serious comes along.

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Who cares if they all decided to get drunk one night and do stupid stuff?

Frankly, I'd be more worried if they didn't have rookie nights, like the one describe in the TU.

There's a fine line between bonding through obnoxious college behavior and dangerous hazing that gets people hurt - and these girls did not cross it.

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First I'll say that 96's post was well-written and well-thought out.

 

However, then I'll come right back and say I'm sorry, but you're a "homer" and I disagree with you.

 

You're an older male who loves UAlbany. All of those things (older, male, UAlbany grad) cloud your judgment here.

 

You're talking about 17- and 18-year-old girls here. Girls, women, whatever you want to call them. In some cases, they really are 'girls' and not women.

 

If you think back to some of the impressionable freshmen that you probably encountered during freshman year, you'll know why any type of these "team" parties can't be tolerated. They might not meet the strictest definitions of "hazing," per se, but they're damaging in their own ways.

 

If a young woman did not want to attend this team party, you can be sure that she knows, whether directly from someone's mouth or implied, she will be an "outcast." It's all about peer pressure. This is the part where many people will stop to read, because we are (mostly) men and peer pressure isn't jack. But for young women, trying to fit in at a new school, trying to form new friendships with your teammates, and also, earn some respect and playing time ... peer pressure can be overwhelming. You know that if you do not attend the team function, you're not going to be "in." If you don't lick the men's lacrosse player's cheek (there I said it), then you're not "in." If you don't drink copious amounts, regardless of whether or not you'd normally drink at all, you're not "in".

 

So while I understand that some people don't consider this painful and true "hazing," it's hazing nonetheless and just as dangerous.

 

I think Mr. Etkin's column was a bit over the top, but he made the point he was trying to make: even some of these girls don't realize what is going on.

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First I'll say that 96's post was well-written and well-thought out.

 

However, then I'll come right back and say I'm sorry, but you're a "homer" and I disagree with you.

 

You're an older male who loves UAlbany.  All of those things (older, male, UAlbany grad) cloud your judgment here.

 

You're talking about 17- and 18-year-old girls here.  Girls, women, whatever you want to call them.  In some cases, they really are 'girls' and not women.

 

If you think back to some of the impressionable freshmen that you probably encountered during freshman year, you'll know why any type of these "team" parties can't be tolerated.  They might not meet the strictest definitions of "hazing," per se, but they're damaging in their own ways. 

 

If a young woman did not want to attend this team party, you can be sure that she knows, whether directly from someone's mouth or implied, she will be an "outcast."  It's all about peer pressure.  This is the part where many people will stop to read, because we are (mostly) men and peer pressure isn't jack.  But for young women, trying to fit in at a new school, trying to form new friendships with your teammates, and also, earn some respect and playing time ... peer pressure can be overwhelming.  You know that if you do not attend the team function, you're not going to be "in."  If you don't lick the men's lacrosse player's cheek (there I said it), then you're not "in."  If you don't drink copious amounts, regardless of whether or not you'd normally drink at all, you're not "in".

 

So while I understand that some people don't consider this painful and true "hazing," it's hazing nonetheless and just as dangerous.

 

I think Mr. Etkin's column was a bit over the top, but he made the point he was trying to make: even some of these girls don't realize what is going on.

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I respect your opinion, but as you well know, my sister played volleyball at an ACC school...and I have about, OH, g-d knows how many girls I am friends with who have been hazed, initiated (as a sorority or athlete), and the pics do not tell full stories.

 

To openly rip a team without full knowledge...is unfair to them.

 

Shall I go into a diatribe on DUKE...and how Mike Nifong and the rest of the crew should lose their jobs (and most likely will be sanctioned by the NC courts) for not letting the system play out before making conclusory statements of guilt.

 

There is no difference between the two situations...at the outset.

 

People are too quick to blog, sell a story (media types), or overhype situations BEFORE knowing the background.

 

Again, do I believe hazing needs to be stopped....YES. Personally...I know of many people who nearly died from it (and from my own experiences...I had so many injuries and was about a second away from frostbite from a terrible night).

 

I do not, however, feel EVERY ROOKIE NIGHT is a hazing night. Again, it is simple logic:

 

THE LADIES CAN STILL PLAY ON THE TEAM IF THEY REFUSE (Ostracized maybe...but they ain't gettin' cut). When hazed...if you refuse...you are out. It is a fine line difference.

 

Let me put it to you like this:

 

JIM: Come on Bill...stop being such a tool...chug that beer

BILL: Nah man...I am full and my girlfriend is coming

TOM: You are such a skirt...I swear...if you dont drink that...you are not going on spring break with us.

 

After 1 minute of this:

 

BILL: Fine...I will chug it.

 

Is that hazing? By the standards promoted by Etkin and Schutt...YES...it is!

 

Now compare that to the same instance, but add in this:

 

Gina: If you dont drink that...your off this team.

Theresa: Coach can't throw me off because I dont drink with you...but I will drink

 

Now compare that to this:

 

Gina (asst. coach/graduate asst.): DRINK...or you will drop from the team

Theresa: Head coach wont drop me

Gina: Yep...you maybe right...but I will make your life miserable.

 

 

ONLY THE THIRD ONE....would be hazing...under any semblence of normal life circumstance. Again, it boils down to voluntary behavior.

 

THIS APPLIES TO WOMEN...or MEN.

 

Part of growing up is learning how to deal with peer pressure; You cant hold hands of college students all the way through. THIS IS CALLED LIFE.

 

It sometimes is cruel....but it IS LIFE.

 

The point you miss...WE DONT KNOW IF THIS WAS A HAZING EVENT AND TO PERSONIFY UA and its WOMEN'S LAX team as the "DIRTY THIRTY" (a member of) is as irresponisble as the CRIME it purports to stop.

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Just as the Women's lax team is showing signs of progress someone throws a black marble in it's path(all the way from Oregon). I like the responses of the lady lax players. Hazing is an ethical question--good to bad!!! Good if it builds team unity--oneness--in a team sport-----------bad if someone is injuried either physically or mentally. Those who have never been initiated on a sports team or experienced a soroity or fraternity "hazing" will never understand and need not respond to this thread.

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  • 3 weeks later...

UAlbany finds no evidence of hazing

6/21/2006 12:32 PM

By: Web Staff

 

 

 

UAlbany officials said there's no evidence that members of the lacrosse team or hockey club violated hazing policies.

 

The university launched an investigation after photos that suggested hazing appeared on a website.

 

Officials said they found no proof of hazing, but there is evidence that the school's alcohol policy may have been violated.

 

 

 

President Kermit Hall has referred the matter to the Vice Presidents for Athletic Administration and Student Success.

 

He's asking those offices to come up with a course of action to lay down the law on the school's drinking policy.

 

At this point, officials said next year's lacrosse and hockey seasons are not in jeopardy

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