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Penn State Hazing death

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If I had any doubts there, I should not let them leave home. But I don't have doubts.

Not to bag on your choices, I'm just riffing off this idea, but I bet the parents of the indicted boys didn't have any doubts about sending them off to college. I'm certain that Piazza's parents certainly didn't think he would end up dead from binge drinking and not one friend willing to help him. What kind of parent would think that and still opt to send their kids off to college?

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Not to bag on your choices, I'm just riffing off this idea, but I bet the parents of the indicted boys didn't have any doubts about sending them off to college. I'm certain that Piazza's parents certainly didn't think he would end up dead from binge drinking and not one friend willing to help him. What kind of parent would think that and still opt to send their kids off to college?

 

I was responding to a specific poster who was concerned about exposing her children to the bad college atmosphere (she used the term "toxic").

 

I am not saying that I can guarantee nothing happens to my children - just like I cannot guarantee that they will not be in a traffic accident. I can. however, give them driver training and only let drive off on the freeway when I have no doubts that I have done all I can to prepare them for traffic. Then I can only hope that they will be OK, and that they won't be harmed though other people's bad choices.

I see letting a child leave for the world and for college in a very similar way. If I had doubt that they were ready, I would keep them home longer to prepare them better. But at some point, I have no doubt that I have given them what I could to prepare them, and that is the time to let them go.

 

Does that make sense?

 

ETA: Nothing about my comment referred in any way to the original topic of the Penn State hazing case.

Edited by regentrude
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Anyway, there are a lot of campus policies like "no alcohol" that are simply ignored or fudged, like frats that get banned and then simply operate outside official channels.

 

And then there are campuses that make it known that students will not get in trouble for underage drinking when they get medical help for an intoxicated student. Knowing they don't have to be afraid to call for help saves lives.

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I'm glad that charges have been filed. Too many times things that would be a crime in any other setting have been dismissed as "just" hazing gone wrong.

 

Or claim it wasn't hazing at all.  We have some friends/acquaintances whose son died in a hazing and the school claims it wasn't.  It has been in court a few times.

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Anyway, there are a lot of campus policies like "no alcohol" that are simply ignored or fudged, like frats that get banned and then simply operate outside official channels.

 

Even strictly-enforced dry campus policies can have a lot of unintended consequences, or at least negative consequences.  I read about one very large state school that has a dry-dorm policy that is strictly enforced, but many of the students just go off campus at night to drink.  This is understood by the administration, but as anything bad that happens is not on university property, they can plausible deny responsibility, even though the policy causes more problems than it solves. It encourage drunk driving, binge drinking and all kinds of other bad results.

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Even strictly-enforced dry campus policies can have a lot of unintended consequences, or at least negative consequences.  I read about one very large state school that has a dry-dorm policy that is strictly enforced, but many of the students just go off campus at night to drink.  This is understood by the administration, but as anything bad that happens is not on university property, they can plausible deny responsibility, even though the policy causes more problems than it solves. It encourage drunk driving, binge drinking and all kinds of other bad results.

 

Exactly. It would be so much more sensible if students imbibed in the safety and privacy of their own rooms instead of driving somewhere.

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I believe I stated that the main point I was disputing from your post was the one where you said sending students on to college after high school was a bad default if they don't know what they want to do.  It's not always a bad default.  IME it's often not if they are capable of college.  Starting at CC can be a good option too.

 

Your other statement I quoted on here I fully agree with.

 

All the rest of my posts have been disputing some common myths about college life and what it MUST be.  Some go to college to party.  They usually don't last long.  Some party when they are in college while still focusing on academics.  Some prefer other things than partying.  It's not really any different outside of college for "adults" of that age.  "College" doesn't ruin lives.  Neither does basic college debt (not meaning high college debt as that is rarely good).  Hubby had five figures of debt when he graduated.  We paid that off in our first five years and have been reaping the benefit ever since.

 

Well we agree 98% then.  You seem to think the only valid reason not to go to college is ineptitude.  I just don't agree with that view, that's all.  I think we need to remove the pressure to go to college immediately, or at all and allow high schoolers to have a good realistic look at all of the possible avenues into adult life.  Then support them in their decision.  Don't stigmatize the military, or tech school, or farming, or painting, or whatever other pursuit isn't overtly academic.  Such a pursuit doesn't limit a person's intellectual capabilities in the slightest. Thanks to technology, we can do both now, anyway.  :)

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But I am not speaking in the abstract. I am talking about my kid. And about what is locally available, which is treated as the default, and which funding mechanisms I may not have the ability to refuse tend to funnel kids around here into. I'm potentially looking at a specific place I'm uncomfortable with based on long, close observation vs. CC/living at home (mentioning that Penn State satellite campuses allows kids to live at home is kind of :confused: since supposedly living at home holds kids back).

 

How does one guarantee that their kid use all those great resources instead of ending up experiencing the worst of the worst? It seems like it's down to chance and it seems like saying if your kid at age 18 isn't up to the challenge that's just too bad. I believe that kids who need a bit more time of guidance in their home community, or whose families aren't up to it financially, can build productive futures too. In the current economy, I believe a firm and early foothold in the job market is priceless. Older students are admitted to college all the time.

 

It's actually super common where I am for students to work or travel for a while before they go to uni. Mature age students (which just means over 21 here) are pretty common. 

 

Kids still manage to binge drink though...that one is a big problem all the world over, I think!

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Well we agree 98% then.  You seem to think the only valid reason not to go to college is ineptitude.  I just don't agree with that view, that's all.  I think we need to remove the pressure to go to college immediately, or at all and allow high schoolers to have a good realistic look at all of the possible avenues into adult life.  Then support them in their decision.  Don't stigmatize the military, or tech school, or farming, or painting, or whatever other pursuit isn't overtly academic.  Such a pursuit doesn't limit a person's intellectual capabilities in the slightest. Thanks to technology, we can do both now, anyway.   :)

 

Definitely not (to the underlined).  We are in a rural area and plenty of students go into farming (though some of these go to college for agricultural fields now), the military (sometimes to help pay for college later), and trades of all sorts.  One young lad went to work as a tattoo artist.  I admired his artwork while in high school.  I suspect he's doing well.

 

The students I've been talking about are those who aren't sure what they want to do with their lives nearing the end of high school and are capable of college level work.  Many of those find fields they never knew existed when they go to college and end up quite happy as well as gainfully employed.  The default for these students doesn't need to be work while they figure things out.  They may never discover what truly interests them if they get bogged down in a job somewhere.  That could easily have happened to my youngest son.  He's not the only example I know of.  Every year students return to our high school to say hello/catch up and often what they end up doing is not at all what they envisioned when they headed out.  It's pretty neat to see.

 

Students who know what they want to do are fine whether that path includes college or not (though many of these change their minds later too).  My oldest and youngest fit that category - as college students.

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Definitely not (to the underlined).  We are in a rural area and plenty of students go into farming (though some of these go to college for agricultural fields now), the military (sometimes to help pay for college later), and trades of all sorts.  One young lad went to work as a tattoo artist.  I admired his artwork while in high school.  I suspect he's doing well.

 

The students I've been talking about are those who aren't sure what they want to do with their lives nearing the end of high school and are capable of college level work.  Many of those find fields they never knew existed when they go to college and end up quite happy as well as gainfully employed.  The default for these students doesn't need to be work while they figure things out.  They may never discover what truly interests them if they get bogged down in a job somewhere.  That could easily have happened to my youngest son.  He's not the only example I know of.  Every year students return to our high school to say hello/catch up and often what they end up doing is not at all what they envisioned when they headed out.  It's pretty neat to see.

 

Students who know what they want to do are fine whether that path includes college or not (though many of these change their minds later too).  My oldest and youngest fit that category - as college students.

 

I misread your intent then; I apologize.  What I've pretty uniformly heard from parents and teachers and the nebulous "them," is an attitude that college immediately after high school is a safe and magical boat to a bright and secure future, the only respectable option, and it ends up becoming an "eat your vegetables" scenario.  I strongly disagree with that attitude and think it can end up setting the stage for time and money wasting activities, some of which can get pretty nasty.

 

My only point about work was that if someone needs a year or three to sift through the wide world of options, they don't need to do it from a recliner.  Work is used technically, and therefore broadly; I don't equate work with full-time paid employment.  If my 18-year-old wanted to cut all the yards in our vicinity for free for a year while they actively pondered their interests, skills, and motivations in regards to their future, that would be completely fine with me.  So long as a completely sound and healthy young adult is not sitting on my couch with a controller all day, every day "figuring things out."  ;)  Although a few people have apparently made quite a bit of money that way, so there is that.

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And then there are campuses that make it known that students will not get in trouble for underage drinking when they get medical help for an intoxicated student. Knowing they don't have to be afraid to call for help saves lives.

This is true in State College. I am not sure if it is local law or a school rule. The person calling will not get in trouble, but the person they called about will (if underage), and anyone else around can get in trouble, so it still does not really encourage people to call 911 because they don't want their friends to get in trouble.

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Do people not discuss drinking with their children?

 

Do they not discuss right and wrong behaviour? Moral responsibility?

 

Children have a disturbing habit of not always listening to their parents. A young person acting in a certain way does not mean their parents never advised them against it, or never tried to teach them moral responsibility. 

 

As far as the actual drinking goes, never forget that the sweetest, smartest kids sometimes do absolutely inane things. Teens and young adults tend to be six foot tall and bulletproof, and have moments of blinding stupidity. 

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I read  the most amazing statistic about this in an editorial:

 

There has been at least one hazing death per year at US colleges for at least the last 40 years running.

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I read  the most amazing statistic about this in an editorial:

 

There has been at least one hazing death per year at US colleges for at least the last 40 years running.

 

One would think students would learn from that and be wary, but then again one would think they'd learn from the multiple texting and driving deaths too and that doesn't seem to happen.  I saw a youngun yesterday busy on his phone while driving down our back road.

 

It's tough to learn from other people's mistakes.  Everyone's invincible. 

 

That doesn't mean we shouldn't let our kids fly (via college or driving).  I'm glad my parents didn't chain me down (with either) just because these things happen.  I definitely use these situations at school and with my own kids as teaching material though.

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Not to bag on your choices, I'm just riffing off this idea, but I bet the parents of the indicted boys didn't have any doubts about sending them off to college. I'm certain that Piazza's parents certainly didn't think he would end up dead from binge drinking and not one friend willing to help him. What kind of parent would think that and still opt to send their kids off to college?

 

This is my issue exactly. The idea that any kid who comes to a bad end, in places where society expressly sets up space to allow a certain number of them to destroy themselves (dying on the spot being only the most obvious example of such destruction), is a chump whose parents failed to prepare him, and too bad so sad because my kid is better than that so devil take the hindmost...... no. My child has special needs in terms of social learning so the idea that protecting her accordingly is a sign of insufficient grit or something... just no, is the nicest thing I can say to that. Even aside from special needs I think many parents find out too late that their kids didn't have it together as much as they thought they did, in one way or another - our society is so far from truly processing the scientific fact that an 18 year old is not a neurological adult, even though that's also obvious to common sense. The idea that the loss of some of these precious minds to alcoholism, sexual trauma, falls from frat house upper windows, you name it, is just the price society has to pay for having these big institutions with all these great resources just doesn't compute. What exactly is to stop us from developing widespread social norms against this behavior? How would making sure young people, still developing, are supervised to behave in a civilized manner take away the libraries and professional schools and laboratories and specialized institutes?

 

As for the idea that college is a good place for kids to find direction - that depends entirely on the funds available for direction-finding. I have none. Any amount of money I'll be able to put towards college will need to be spent on well-defined goals economically commensurate with the painful sacrifice it will take from me. Many families are in the same position, but fail to realize it because of the culture of default college attendance and the availability of student loans. Being able to spend tens of thousands of dollars on figuring things out is an extreme luxury - when it is promoted to the vast majority who don't have that luxury as the standard way of doing things, that can ruin lives in a different way, through the student debt system.

Edited by winterbaby
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I read the most amazing statistic about this in an editorial:

 

There has been at least one hazing death per year at US colleges for at least the last 40 years running.

Wow. It would be interesting to see if certain schools own a majority of these. Or certain organizations.

 

ETA- I initially said frats, by changed it to organizations. Wasn't the bus one in FL where they beat those guys to death for the marching band?

Edited by texasmom33

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What exactly is to stop us from developing widespread social norms against this behavior? 

 

Assuming you're talking about the traditional drinking associated with Greek culture, I think you're underestimating just how many parents encourage such behavior.  I believe they outnumber those of us who feel it's dumb.  They think we're prudes (at best).

 

I don't think any want to see kids die, but most don't, so it definitely ends up being just like texting and driving.  Plenty of parents do that too and see nothing wrong with it...

 

Hazing, in general, is not considered wrong by many who have been there and survived.  The belief goes right along with the "Why do we need seat belts?  My generation survived without them and we're "better" for it!"  Many parents/alumni are AGAINST changing the culture because "it works just fine and makes men/ladies out of the kids."

 

For me?  Live and let live.  I never cared for that lifestyle and my boys don't, but for those who enjoy it?  Have fun.  I don't want others interfering with what I choose to do, so see no need to mess with what they want.  I use my energy to educate the next generation instead - that way they can't say "I didn't know!"  

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What exactly is to stop us from developing widespread social norms against this behavior? How would making sure young people, still developing, are supervised to behave in a civilized manner take away the libraries and professional schools and laboratories and specialized institutes?

 

I'm interested in your statement above. What specific social norms would you like to see developed regarding this age group? How would we ensure that young adults will buy into those norms? What would that look like? I'm not entirely sure how to clearly define what a social norm is. For example, does the high rate of adultery in the US mean that adultery is a "social norm?" We know that some colleges are plagued with high levels of binge drinking, and see the consequences of that behavior, but is binge drinking a social norm? Or is it just something we know occurs?

 

What do you mean by making sure young adults are "supervised" (speaking about wider society and not individual parents controlling their own offspring). To what extent can supervision make sure young adults "behave in a civilized manner." Can a society guarantee that anyone or any group behaves in a civilized manner? We punish bad behavior and try to reduce bad behavior, but do you have any vision of how we can actually prevent bad behavior?

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Assuming you're talking about the traditional drinking associated with Greek culture, I think you're underestimating just how many parents encourage such behavior.  I believe they outnumber those of us who feel it's dumb.  They think we're prudes (at best).

 

I don't think any want to see kids die, but most don't, so it definitely ends up being just like texting and driving.  Plenty of parents do that too and see nothing wrong with it...

 

Hazing, in general, is not considered wrong by many who have been there and survived.  The belief goes right along with the "Why do we need seat belts?  My generation survived without them and we're "better" for it!"  Many parents/alumni are AGAINST changing the culture because "it works just fine and makes men/ladies out of the kids."

 

For me?  Live and let live.  I never cared for that lifestyle and my boys don't, but for those who enjoy it?  Have fun.  I don't want others interfering with what I choose to do, so see no need to mess with what they want.  I use my energy to educate the next generation instead - that way they can't say "I didn't know!"  

 

No, I get it... the cars in the neighborhood I described tell a rather stunning story of parental complicity. Though it doesn't seem to be an exclusively Greek phenomenon. 

 

The live and let live approach kind of depends on how sure you can be that your kid won't get sucked into something. For girls this is more fraught because they are basically commodities in the eyes of that subculture and their emotions and social perceptions can get played with. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe isn't a perfect book nor do I mistake it for a documentary but it presents a scenario that illustrates how bad things can happen to good kids.

There's also the question for me, of - for the price, which given the structure of the aid system will almost certainly be "to the point of real pain" - what I want my kid to be around. There was that school in Missouri that lost enrollment due to all the protests. I don't know much about that situation particularly; I doubt most parents had reason to believe their kids would be directly harmed. But something about the nature of the situation made parents feel justified and empowered in saying no, which I don't see happening with partying even when it's to the point of killing people. I wonder if the sense that shrugging it off and trying to ignore it is the best you can do has to do with it being beyond question as an established subculture, or with the social position of those whose children are practicing it. Just because I might trust my kid not to get directly involved in something doesn't mean I'm content to pay for her to be surrounded by it.

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Assuming you're talking about the traditional drinking associated with Greek culture, I think you're underestimating just how many parents encourage such behavior. I believe they outnumber those of us who feel it's dumb. They think we're prudes (at best).

 

I don't think any want to see kids die, but most don't, so it definitely ends up being just like texting and driving. Plenty of parents do that too and see nothing wrong with it...

 

Hazing, in general, is not considered wrong by many who have been there and survived. The belief goes right along with the "Why do we need seat belts? My generation survived without them and we're "better" for it!" Many parents/alumni are AGAINST changing the culture because "it works just fine and makes men/ladies out of the kids."

 

For me? Live and let live. I never cared for that lifestyle and my boys don't, but for those who enjoy it? Have fun. I don't want others interfering with what I choose to do, so see no need to mess with what they want. I use my energy to educate the next generation instead - that way they can't say "I didn't know!"

I agree with some of what you're saying. But I disagree that these groups are live and let live. They promote an aggressive, predatory culture. Hazing, rape, death......it's a lot of fall out. And it doesn't only impact those "actively participating." The influence creeps outward and bleeds into those all around, whether through fall out, fear, or even tuition rates going up because colleges get the crap sued out of them.

 

Part of the problem is as you mention, the alumni- the parents promoting this behavior as harmless and a tradition. But the university's depend on the dirty money contributions of these alumni, so to speak, which makes them ineffective in combating this behavior. Throwing them off campus only shuffles the problem. It does nothing to actually combat it. If the schools wanted to shut it down, they could. But it would mean pissing off some very powerful donors and most schools won't do that. I mean, let's look at Baylor......public. Private. Lots of shady crap going on under the guise of higher learning.

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Wow. It would be interesting to see if certain schools own a majority of these. Or certain organizations.

 

 

 

There's a list on wikipedia, so you know it must be true: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hazing_deaths_in_the_United_States

 
It is interesting to see how the institutions that haze change over the decades.  Apparently, there used to be entire freshman-class hazing at colleges, some of which sounded incredibly brutal.  So, institutions can change over time.
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The live and let live approach kind of depends on how sure you can be that your kid won't get sucked into something. 

 

My kids know (because we've blatantly told them) that they get to make their own choices once they're in college.  Actually, a good part of it started back in high school.  We raised them a certain way - a way we parents really enjoy - but if that's not their choosing for their own lives, that's fine.  They're still part of our family and we love no matter what.

 

If they make choices and later want to choose something else, that's ok too.  We all change as we age in some way or another.

 

If they find themselves in a bad spot, feel free to call us - or use us such as "my parents don't want me doing..."

 

I have no desire to helicopter parent my adult kids or turn them into miniature versions of us.  Even in high school we let them sign their own permission forms... but did request they tell us about what they were doing.

 

It's a risk letting them fly sometimes, but it's worth it for us.  I love what they've become.

 

YMMV

 

I agree with some of what you're saying. But I disagree that these groups are live and let live. ... And it doesn't only impact those "actively participating." 

 

You could say the same thing about texting and driving.  There are laws against both, but that doesn't stop many people.

 

One can want an ideal world, but one isn't going to get it - anywhere.  Then too, who defines ideal?

 

 

Apparently, there used to be entire freshman-class hazing at colleges, some of which sounded incredibly brutal.  So, institutions can change over time.

 

 

There was.  My parents talk about it - fondly.  Nothing was brutal for them, but still, it was hazing - even called hazing.

 

Then talk to some older military school grads... they talk about it fondly too and some of it was brutal.  It earned them respect when they accomplished it.

 

There was some at VT when I was in the Corps of Cadets - though not nearly as much as the "old days."  Honestly?  It was fun... and I wish some of the old school traditions hadn't been banned.  Our generation/class felt quite cheated.

 

Fortunately, deaths are very rare - none that I've heard listening to RL people's stories.

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No, I get it... the cars in the neighborhood I described tell a rather stunning story of parental complicity. Though it doesn't seem to be an exclusively Greek phenomenon.

 

The live and let live approach kind of depends on how sure you can be that your kid won't get sucked into something. For girls this is more fraught because they are basically commodities in the eyes of that subculture and their emotions and social perceptions can get played with. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe isn't a perfect book nor do I mistake it for a documentary but it presents a scenario that illustrates how bad things can happen to good kids.

There's also the question for me, of - for the price, which given the structure of the aid system will almost certainly be "to the point of real pain" - what I want my kid to be around. There was that school in Missouri that lost enrollment due to all the protests. I don't know much about that situation particularly; I doubt most parents had reason to believe their kids would be directly harmed. But something about the nature of the situation made parents feel justified and empowered in saying no, which I don't see happening with partying even when it's to the point of killing people. I wonder if the sense that shrugging it off and trying to ignore it is the best you can do has to do with it being beyond question as an established subculture, or with the social position of those whose children are practicing it. Just because I might trust my kid not to get directly involved in something doesn't mean I'm content to pay for her to be surrounded by it.

Why are you assuming parents chose not to send their kids to the University of Missouri rather than students deciding they didn't want to apply for various reasons related to the protests? And why on earth are you using that as an example when you say you don't even know what went on there?

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There's a happy medium between making a miniature version of yourself and letting your kid get hazed or raped. I don't think it does to accuse people of helicoptering for giving a thought to the possibilities of negative outcomes (death is only the most extreme example), especially if they come from a position of lesser ability to tailor their child's experience. A lot of where I'm coming from is knowing that barring rare merit awards, the system tends to funnel people like me into larger public institutions where my child, because of her economic background, will be on the back foot socially even before considering her special needs. If I felt confident I could choose my child's environment I would... well, be a lot more confident. Hearing others repeatedly share that they have the good fortune to be able to provide suitable environments doesn't really address what I'm talking about.

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Why are you assuming parents chose not to send their kids to the University of Missouri rather than students deciding they didn't want to apply for various reasons related to the protests? And why on earth are you using that as an example when you say you don't even know what went on there?

 

Somebody objected, and that somebody felt that whatever they objected to rose to the level of justifying a change of plans. It doesn't matter what went on. Though actually I do know what went on there. I was being rhetorically diffident because that, and my opinions of it, are off topic. But it doesn't matter because the point was to contrast that to the widespread sense that there's no point in objecting to destructive campus party culture and that any move to avoid it would be wildly overprotective. Maybe people would feel the same way about the parents in Missouri. I don't know. Unless someone is emancipated their parents do have a role in deciding whether they go to college so that nitpick seems beside the point. Obviously parents and children decide together. But I feel like at this point I have made people so uncomfortable that potshots are being taken from any random direction - the poor throw trash everywhere too! how dare you imply students don't choose where to go to school! who can say what a "social norm" is, really?  - so I will bow out. That poor kid is still dead, though.

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There's a happy medium between making a miniature version of yourself and letting your kid get hazed or raped. I don't think it does to accuse people of helicoptering for giving a thought to the possibilities of negative outcomes (death is only the most extreme example), especially if they come from a position of lesser ability to tailor their child's experience. A lot of where I'm coming from is knowing that barring rare merit awards, the system tends to funnel people like me into larger public institutions where my child, because of her economic background, will be on the back foot socially even before considering her special needs. If I felt confident I could choose my child's environment I would... well, be a lot more confident. Hearing others repeatedly share that they have the good fortune to be able to provide suitable environments doesn't really address what I'm talking about.

 

Again, most of us are talking in general.  Of course individuals can add in more variables they need to consider and make decisions on.  It's just not wise generalizing from that individual to the whole population.

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Somebody objected, and that somebody felt that whatever they objected to rose to the level of justifying a change of plans. It doesn't matter what went on. Though actually I do know what went on there. I was being rhetorically diffident because that, and my opinions of it, are off topic. But it doesn't matter because the point was to contrast that to the widespread sense that there's no point in objecting to destructive campus party culture and that any move to avoid it would be wildly overprotective. Maybe people would feel the same way about the parents in Missouri. I don't know. Unless someone is emancipated their parents do have a role in deciding whether they go to college so that nitpick seems beside the point. Obviously parents and children decide together. But I feel like at this point I have made people so uncomfortable that potshots are being taken from any random direction - the poor throw trash everywhere too! how dare you imply students don't choose where to go to school! who can say what a "social norm" is, really? - so I will bow out. That poor kid is still dead, though.

I honestly can't make sense of what point you have been trying to make.

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There's a happy medium between making a miniature version of yourself and letting your kid get hazed or raped. I don't think it does to accuse people of helicoptering for giving a thought to the possibilities of negative outcomes (death is only the most extreme example), especially if they come from a position of lesser ability to tailor their child's experience. A lot of where I'm coming from is knowing that barring rare merit awards, the system tends to funnel people like me into larger public institutions where my child, because of her economic background, will be on the back foot socially even before considering her special needs. If I felt confident I could choose my child's environment I would... well, be a lot more confident. Hearing others repeatedly share that they have the good fortune to be able to provide suitable environments doesn't really address what I'm talking about.

But don't people do that already? Many kids start at community college for example. It's cheaper and they can still live at home the first couple of years.

 

Plus- not all schools are party schools and some actively avoid the party schools. (Though conversely some actively seek the party schools. ). Should we ban party schools?

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But I feel like at this point I have made people so uncomfortable that potshots are being taken from any random direction - the poor throw trash everywhere too! how dare you imply students don't choose where to go to school! who can say what a "social norm" is, really? - so I will bow out. That poor kid is still dead, though.

Apparently you took my questions personally. I did not intend to makes a "potshot." I was sincerely asking you to elaborate on what you said. You seem to care a lot about these issues, and they are important.

 

I see this is as two issues, a question of what institutions and societies can do about an obvious problem on college campuses, and a question about the decisions individual families make.

 

While we can share our ideas and have respectful discussions about how to make decisions regarding our own kids, ultimately I have to make my decisions and you have to make yours. I don't see the value of attacking each other's choices.

 

But on some level, colleges, communities, and larger society need to respond to this problem on college campuses. We read about tragedies that result from impulsive and distructive behavior, much of which appears to be built around a party culture, and we want to see that culture change. I was asking questions about how much we can change and how to go about it.

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Assuming you're talking about the traditional drinking associated with Greek culture, I think you're underestimating just how many parents encourage such behavior.   

 

Agreed.

 

We had an example of this at a local (private) high school, not for drinking so much but related to the hazing and pranking aspects. There was a strong tradition of upperclassmen hazing freshmen, with "hazing" having a wide interpretation. Taunting, demanding favors, physical confrontations, pranks, all the typical things meant to stress underclassmen and enforce the status of upperclassmen. It got quite ugly at times, mostly for the unpopular and nerdy freshmen. 

 

School gets a new president, and one of his goals was to eliminate the hazing. The parents went crazy. They said, no exaggeration, that it wasn't fair that their kids would "miss their turn" at being the ones to beat up and harass freshmen. They protested and wrote letters and threatened to pull their kids out, and there were multiple articles in the newspaper over the controversy. 

 

The kicker here is that it is a Catholic school, and the new president was a priest who tried to point out that hazing was not very Christ-like. And not just a Catholic school, but a Salesian school in particular . . . the Salesian educational motto is "reason, religion, and loving kindness." 

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Agreed.

 

We had an example of this at a local (private) high school, not for drinking so much but related to the hazing and pranking aspects. There was a strong tradition of upperclassmen hazing freshmen, with "hazing" having a wide interpretation. Taunting, demanding favors, physical confrontations, pranks, all the typical things meant to stress underclassmen and enforce the status of upperclassmen. It got quite ugly at times, mostly for the unpopular and nerdy freshmen. 

 

School gets a new president, and one of his goals was to eliminate the hazing. The parents went crazy. They said, no exaggeration, that it wasn't fair that their kids would "miss their turn" at being the ones to beat up and harass freshmen. They protested and wrote letters and threatened to pull their kids out, and there were multiple articles in the newspaper over the controversy. 

 

The kicker here is that it is a Catholic school, and the new president was a priest who tried to point out that hazing was not very Christ-like. And not just a Catholic school, but a Salesian school in particular . . . the Salesian educational motto is "reason, religion, and loving kindness." 

 

If there's one thing (most) humans can't stand, it's messing with "tradition."  It is found just as much in a church as in a frat - not hazing - the messing with tradition abhorrence.  "We've always done it that way and it didn't hurt us" can be said about raising kids, making a meal, worship, teaching - you name it.  It doesn't matter one hoot what new information about how "it" is harmful comes out.

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. What exactly is to stop us from developing widespread social norms against this behavior? How would making sure young people, still developing, are supervised to behave in a civilized manner take away the libraries and professional schools and laboratories and specialized institutes?

 

Social norms and supervision?  Sounds like the military in many ways.  I wonder if that will solve the problem?

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/02/12/military-hazing-is-often-horrifying-and-the-pentagon-has-no-idea-how-often-it-happens/?utm_term=.cb00961e3298

 

Or maybe not.

 

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There's a reason people have fond memories of hazing, and it has less to do with how benign hazing is (it isn't) and more to do with the brain's capacity for self preservation.

 

If people voluntarily undergo a very unpleasant, and sometimes downright dangerous procedure such as hazing, their brain has two options as to how to process this choice. 

 

The more psychologically comfortable choice is to massively over-inflate the value of the experience and/or the organisation involved. "The cost was so high, that what I gained must have been worth it."

 

The other option is for the brain to admit that a terrible mistake was made; that the person voluntarily submitted to humiliation plus, for no good reason. That option doesn't make people feel good about themselves.

 

Our brains love to make us feel good about ourselves, even at the cost of veracity.

 

 

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The more psychologically comfortable choice is to massively over-inflate the value of the experience and/or the organisation involved. "The cost was so high, that what I gained must have been worth it."

 

The other option is for the brain to admit that a terrible mistake was made; that the person voluntarily submitted to humiliation plus, for no good reason. That option doesn't make people feel good about themselves.

 

Our brains love to make us feel good about ourselves, even at the cost of veracity.

My FIL's comment to something similar to hazing and fagging (British meaning) was that if he can survive, then his grandchildren should deal with it. My husband don't agree so after that conversation my husband does not plan to fly back and visit his parents.

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Well we agree 98% then. You seem to think the only valid reason not to go to college is ineptitude. I just don't agree with that view, that's all. I think we need to remove the pressure to go to college immediately, or at all and allow high schoolers to have a good realistic look at all of the possible avenues into adult life. Then support them in their decision. Don't stigmatize the military, or tech school, or farming, or painting, or whatever other pursuit isn't overtly academic. Such a pursuit doesn't limit a person's intellectual capabilities in the slightest. Thanks to technology, we can do both now, anyway. :)

I haven't read the entire thread but I won't be encouraging my ds to go away for college. He will barely be 18. Whatever he decides to do I hope he sticks around his family as a base of operation for a couple of years. Whether he takes college classes or goes to work or does a year of volunteer work or any combination of those....being close to family is helpful as they navigate the world.

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