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Why do so many young people literally die to belong to fraternities, sororities, and other college social organizations? The answer is complicated, but here is a starting point: Ever since the medieval universities were founded, young people have done whatever it takes to gain acceptance, to break with their past lives, to achieve a sense of power, to carve out a society of their own that isn't quite what their tutors and teachers had in mind. In the United States, hazing and drinking have been endemic since colonial days.
-Hank Nuwer, Wrongs of Passage, p. 194