Saturday, December 09, 2006

HAZY HAZING

An Alumnus comment on my entry titled “Beanie Babies” has set me straight about how New Hampshire august legislators feel about hazing … pointing out the N.H. Criminal Code section 631:7(I)(d). To wit:

"Student hazing" means any act directed toward a student, or any coercion or intimidation of a student to act or to participate in or submit to any act, when:(1) Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person; and(2) Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any organization.

Now I submit that merely being a student at Dartmouth in the late 1950’s could be construed as being hazed according to the above legalese. Clearly getting passing grades and many other administration-imposed conditions (not urinating off the grandstands during a football game) were required of me for my “continued membership” in the Dartmouth community. And many of these conditions were likely to cause me psychological injury … I still dream about not passing my comprehensive exams (a condition of graduation) or getting a good grade in my SATs (then a condition of admission). Was the four year Physical Education requirement likely to cause physical injury? I submit that many students were. Was the swimming requirement likely to cause psychological trauma? I submit that many students were so traumatized.

Could John Sloan Dickey have gone to jail under such a statute? I submit that he might have … given a vindictive judge and jury. Therefore, I submit that this law is hooey. (And I’ll try to come to New Hampshire only incognito.)

1 comment:

Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

George:

You began this site for people to discuss Dartmouth traditions. Thus I assume the readers are in general "traditionalists".

Undertanding the purpose is not politics, I nevertheless am reacting to your comment about a NH law being "hooey" relative to John Sloan Dickey's leadership.

For those alums who have left the area, please be advised: live-free-or-die NH is increasingly becoming a government-provide-more-services Democrat-dominated state as Massachusetts residents move northward and as Dartmouth expands. At the same time, Vermont may be moving from liberal to libertarian, as people are tired of paying both income and high property taxes; while liberal as defined by a dictionary, they know they can do just fine without the state telling them what to do. Norwich-excepted of course!

OK Sorry to intrude on discussion of our College.