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Dyed Green Hair Is Hazing? No Way.
A thoughtful piece in The D on Monday by Nordic ski team member Karina Packer ‘15 asks whether the Dean’s office was correct in disallowing freshman members of the team from dying their hair pink and green — as team members have traditionally done — on the ground that this action constitutes hazing.
Why don’t we try to answer the question with a little rigor. Here is the College’s official definition of hazing:
Karina says that this year’s new team members want to dye their hair, as previous members of the team have done. However, we can’t really take her word that the young skiers are not being coerced. It’s tough to prove a negative. So let’s assume for the sake of argument that the hair-dying rite meets the second test of hazing: it is a “condition of initiation” into the team.
However, does hair-dying meet the first test in the NH statute and the College’s rules?
“such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person;
Remember, the use of “and” in the statute at the end of clause (1) means that for hazing to be found, both tests must be met, not just one of them.
Well, you are a reasonable person, and I often am, too. Will hair-dying likely cause “physical or psychological injury” to the skiers? Obviously, no judge would believe that proposition, nor would any sensible person. If the case went to trial, we could call in generations of former skiers, and we could have them evaluated by both psychologists and haircare professionals. The answer would be clear.
From this incident, we can conclude two things: the Dean’s Office is out of control, and nobody at the College has even a passing acquaintance with the canons of statutory interpretation.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…