Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hazing law's author not interested in changing it

The author of the Florida hazing law (since 2005 hazing is a felony in Florida) is not interested in changing it.
Last month, the college world watched along with the law's author, Rep. Adam Hasner, as suspended Florida A&M University students and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers Michael Morton and Jason Harris received two years in prison for beating a fraternity pledge.
"Until this issue has worked its way through the court system, it's premature for the Legislature to go back and try to change the definition," Hasner said.

In a perfect world, students just stop the underground, violent rituals of hazing. Overnight, they could render the hazing law obsolete.

Until then, "Some strong sentences need to be handed down to set an example," said Florida State University student Max Ferreira, who as a Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge last year was ordered to do extreme push-ups and squatting with his arms held straight out for hours, while he was being screamed at with obscenities.

"A lot of fraternities think it's a joke and they're not going to get caught and they're not going to change their ways," said Ferreira, who never joined the fraternity. "Part of this is you have the mentality you don't want to let pledge brothers down."
Reverberations from the hazing convictions are many, from Hasner being asked to speak on college campuses to Black Enterprise magazine, which has declared FAMU the best college in America for black students, running an article titled, "Hazing in Black Fraternities: Why jail time is necessary to stop the long-standing tradition."
Tallahassee Democrat - - Tallahassee, FL.
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