'It's Just Hazing'

A common line among “conservative” bobbling heads insists that what has come to light as torture as now most assuredly approved directly by the Immediate Past White House Administration is just as harmless as a fraternity hazing.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind them that, in my college days, fraternity hazing became frowned upon because men not yet 20 years old were ending up dead.

The landmark case of hazing deaths was that of Chuck Stenzel, who died in 1978 of alcohol poisoning. He had been driven to the house with two other pledges in the trunk of a car and forced to consume alcohol with the goal being to fill up a bucket to a mark with vomit. He eventually passed out and was laid on a matress until one of these geniuses noticed that his fingernails were turning blue. “Chuck’s blood alcohol content at the time of death was .46 a four fold increase from the legal definition of intoxication.”

But this kind of shit isn’t just past history.

On April 1, 2009, in Geneseo, N.Y., three frat douchebags were charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of a pledge. Arman Partamian, 19, died during a multi-day initiation after, like Stenzel, having consumed too much booze. His blood level was at .55.

On Nov. 21, 2008, 18-year-old Michael Starks, a Utah State University student, died from alcohol poisoning related to a fraternity initiation.

Hazing is not a breezy issue. Hazing kills people. Those who liken torture to it hoping to lessen the gravity of these charges do themselves no service.

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