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61 Miss. L.J. 111 (1991)
The Criminalization of Fraternity, Non-Fraternity and Non-Collegiate Hazing

handle is hein.journals/mislj61 and id is 127 raw text is: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF
Dr. Darryll M. Halcomb Lewis*
Criminal hazing statutes throughout America do not effec-
tively deal with the reality that hazing is a common occurrence
in all segments of American life.1 The practice of hazing is cruel
and sometimes physically and mentally dangerous to those
hazed.2 Present criminal statutes are directed at fraternity haz-
ing; however, they should criminalize hazing in other arenas that
create a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the
hazee. Therefore, this paper explores the criminal aspects of
hazing as applied to fraternal organizations as well as to non-
collegiate, non-fraternity entities.
* Assistant professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha; J.D., Creighton University,
1978; B.A., Dartmouth College, 1975.
There is a current and ongoing debate concerning the civil liability of fraternal
organizations for injuries incurred by their pledges during initiation ceremonies. Al-
though that debate is beyond the scope of this work, the classic hazing-injury case in-
volves a college student who has been injured while being initiated into a collegiate fra-
ternal organization. The injured plaintiff commonly sues those personally involved and
responsible for his or her injuries. Those organizations most commonly sued are the local
chapter of a national fraternity, the national fraternity, and the host university. The
model hazing-injury case comprises three primary issues: (1) whether the local fraternity
chapter was negligent in injuring the initiate, (2) whether the national parent fraternity
is civilly liable for injuries during initiation ceremonies conducted at the local level, and
(3) whether there is a master-servant or principal-agent relationship between the na-
tional and local fraternity sufficient to impose vicarious liability. Ballou v. Sigma Nu
Gen. Fraternity, 291 S.C. 140, 352 S.E.2d 488, 489 (Ct. App. 1986); see also Easler v.
Hejaz Temple, 285 S.C. 348, 329 S.E.2d 753, 755 (1985) (club held liable for initiate's
injuries negligently inflicted during initiation ceremony).
2 Chestnut, To Eradicate College Hazing, THE LITERARY DIGEST, Nov. 25, 1933, at
30. The son of a Calgary attorney was made permanently insane by university initia-
tion practices and a jury awarded $56,000 in damages. Id. Throughout this paper, those
who are hazed may be referred to as a hazee, plebe, initiate, or novitiate.

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