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Hazing
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Engrave this Quote Many of the rites of passage, those rituals of growing up found in our society, are in the form of such comic, practical joking affairs--which we ignore in the belief that they possess no deeper significance. Yet it is precisely in their being regarded as unimportant that they take on importance. For in them we ritualize and dramatize attitudes which contradict and often embarrass the sacred values which we proclaim through our solemn ceremonies and rituals of nationhood.
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-Ralph Ellison, on initiations at West Point, 1969
Engrave this Quote You'll be subjected to hazing all your life.
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-Martin Luther
(Source: Smithsonian magazine, Sept. 1983), 1539
Engrave this Quote Hazing is an extraordinary activity that, when it occurs often enough, becomes perversely ordinary as those who engage in it grow desensitized to its inhumanity.
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-Hank Nuwer
Wrongs of Passage
Engrave this Quote Few of us go through life without taking part in some kind of rite of passage.
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-Hank Nuwer
The Hazing Reader
Engrave this Quote 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.

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-Hank Nuwer
Wrongs of Passage, p. 194
Engrave this Quote They the hazers or eversores were rightly called Overturners, since they had themselves been first overturned and perverted, tricked by those same devils who were secretly mocking them in the very acts by which they amused themselves in mocking and making fools of others.
on the eversores (translation: Overturners) who bedeviled new students at Cartage in the 4th Century. Confessions
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-Saint Augustine of Hippo
Engrave this Quote Mark Twain, in an interview today, spoke about hazing at West Point, and denounced the practice as a brutal one and men who indulge in it as bullies and cowards.
Why, he said, the fourth class man who is compelled to fight a man from the first class hasn't a show in the world, and it is not intended that he should. I have read the rules provided to prevent such practices, and they are wholly deficient, because one provision is omitted. I would make it the duty of a cadet to report to the authorities any case of hazing which came to his notice; make such reports a part of the vaunted West Point 'code of honor' and the beating of young boys by upper class men will be stopped.
I am not opposed to fights among boys as a general thing. If they are conducted in a spirit of fairness, I think it makes boys manly, but I do oppose compelling a little fellow to fight some man big enough to whip two of him. When I was a boy, going to school down in the Mississippi Valley, we used to have our fights, and I remember one occasion on which I got soundly trounced, but we always matched boys as nearly of a size as possible, and there was none of the cowardly methods that seem to prevail at West Point.

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-Mark Twain, "New York Times", on cadet hazing, January 20, 1901

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