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Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing Hardcover – October, 1990

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From Library Journal

In 1978, Chuck Stenzel decided to pledge Klan Alpine at Alfred University. On his first night as a pledge he died, a victim of a fraternity ritual gone awry. Nuwer's book uses this death as a starting point to study hazing and its part in organizations throughout America. Within the text and in a table at the end of the book, there is much information about the effects of hazing. Though sometimes graphic, this book is important because it offers proof that hazing is everywhere, not just in college fraternal organizations. The book belongs in public and academic libraries and on the shelves of leaders of groups where hazing may occur. (Photos not seen.)--Danna C. Bell, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, Va.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Longstreet Pr (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 092926472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929264721
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

National Award Renamed for Franklin College Professor

FRANKLIN, IND. - A national organization focused on hazing prevention and intervention has renamed its prestigious annual awards program in honor of Franklin College associate professor of journalism Hank Nuwer.

HazingPrevention.Org recently presented the "Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award" in 2011. The award recognizes up to five individuals, ranging from students, educators, social fraternity advisers, coaches and researchers, for extraordinary effort or accomplishment in the task of standing up to the dangerous and often illegal practice of hazing.

Nuwer's involvement as a social critic and journalist targeting hazing abuses began in 1978 when he wrote about the behavioral aspects of hazing in an essay for Human Behavior magazine. Nuwer has since made hazing education, prevention and intervention a significant part of his life's work.

"One death from hazing diminishes us all as a culture," said Nuwer. "For me as a journalist I saw the grief parents felt when a son or daughter died so tragically and unnecessarily.

"I saw how the lives of hazers were forever ruined, knowing every day of their own lives there was one who walked amongst them who would never graduate, never have a child, never have the opportunities he or she was meant to happen. And then there are the colleges and the Greek groups or athletic teams who will always bear the stigma of having a death from hazing that they somehow failed to prohibit.

"I simply feel that my work gives a voice to the voiceless, all those who died from hazing who cannot tell readers how easily their demise might have been prevented."

Nuwer has written numerous articles and four books on hazing, including the groundbreaking 1990 book Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing . His other hazing books are High School Hazing (Scholastic), Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader (Indiana University Press). He's written several books on the craft of writing, including To the Young Writer.

In 2006, the State University of New York awarded Nuwer an honorary doctorate to recognize his scholarly work in the area of hazing prevention. Author Michael Kimmel's 2008 best-selling book Guyland cited Nuwer as "a virtual one-man crusade to eliminate hazing" for more than 30 years. A frequent commentator on TV, Nuwer's appearances include the Today Show with Matt Lauer and CNN with Anderson Cooper. Nuwer also is a nationally-known speaker who has lectured at more than 120 campuses, including Dartmouth, the University of Michigan, Penn State and Syracuse University.

Nuwer serves on the board of HazingPrevention.Org and the advisory board of Security on Campus, a national watchdog organization devoted to rooting out violence on campus. He developed an online hazing prevention educational course for the Human Equation group in 2007-08 and started a collection of educational print and video materials on hazing at Buffalo State College's Butler Library. He has appeared in numerous documentaries, most recently Haze , the documentary inspired by the death of Colorado student Lynn Gordon Bailey and narrated by Robin Wright Penn. His regular hazing prevention column appears on the StopHazing.Org Web site.

A resident of Waldron, Ind., Nuwer advises Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society at Franklin College and teaches journalism courses such as investigative reporting. He is a member of Sigma Tau Rho social fraternity at Buffalo State College and Phi Kappa Phi national honor society.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution 20 minutes from downtown Indianapolis. He has also taught at other institutions such as the University of Richmond and Ball State University. He is a member of the BSU Journalism Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2010.

A graduate of Buffalo State College, he has been named a Distinguished Alumnus (1999) and awarded an honorary doctorate (2006). BSC's Butler Library honored him with its establishment of the Hazing Collection and the Hank Nuwer Collection. The curator at Butler Library is archivist Dan Dilandro.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeanie Robinson-Pownall on August 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is very valuable and informative, touching on the history of hazing rites and rituals. Its focus is on the 1978 tragic death of Alfred University student Chuck Stenzel, but also includes episodes of hazings in high schools and other Universities, and hazing still allowed in our military. (Be aware - there is a description of sadistic and sexual torture of a US Coast Guard seaman by his shipmates on the event of his first crossing of the equator that made me physically ill.)

I am a 1977 alumna of Alfred University and like the vast majority of my classmates I spent my four years there studying and working. I would not have had the time or the money to join a Greek organization even if I had wanted to. Chuck Stenzel selected the fraternity with the worst reputation for drinking, violence, and lack of respect for other people. Let me be the first to say that no one deserves to die because of poor choices and/or bad taste. Eileen Stevens (Mrs. Roy Stevens) apparently expected Alfred University to supervise her adult son's off-campus activities, an attitude that mystifies me to this day.

This book was cathartic me, and probably for others who suffered in a secondary or tertiary sense (having our hard-earned degrees devalued by the negative publicity) in the long and tortuous aftermath of Chuck's death. This book has allowed me the opportunity to comprehend the enormity of what Mrs. Stevens has accomplished in her anti-hazing crusade. I am certain she has saved scores (if not hundreds) of lives by her dedicated work in her son's name and memory. The entire country owes her an immense debt of gratitude.
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