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Sex and the Women’s Swim Team (2/2)

So it turns out that the misbehavior for which the women’s swimming team is being punished (“the team would not be allowed to participate in the three intercollegiate meets scheduled during the 2017 fall term. The team will resume its competition schedule on Dec. 1, but will not be allowed to travel for training and will instead train in Hanover during the December break.”), was somewhat more elaborate than louche, provocative PowerPoint presentations. There was a fair bit of, um, acting out of a sexual nature, and rumor has it that some members of the men’s team assisted in the proceedings.

How to interpret such goings-on? On the one hand, we live in a world where the most graphic pornography is available on the internet at the click of a mouse. And yet we can all agree that a newly-arrived-in-Hanover, 18-year-old, female swimmer should be able to pick and choose her poison, and not be obliged to participate in extreme vulgarity as part of a team event. After all, a student brings with her a wide range of personal experiences. Besides that, she’ll have occasion to experience such things elsewhere, if she wishes.

The Hanover Police declined to charge swim team members under the NH anti-hazing statute, RSA Section 631:7:

RSA 631-7 Hazing.jpg

Without consulting the case law, I imagine that the physical/psychological damage hurdle was deemed by the Hanover Po to not have been met.

But the College considers NH law to be but a jumping-off point for its own rules regarding hazing. The Student Affairs Handbook contains language additional to the NH statue:

Hazing Student Affairs Handbook.jpg

Beyond that definition, the Office of Greek Life Handbook & Policies manual describes hazing offenses in far greater detail:

Hazing GLH1.jpg

Hazing GLH2a.jpg

By the College’s standards, hazing did occur, but we are left with a final issue: students inform me that almost every team, fraternity, sorority, and many clubs do similar things to one degree or another (with only a few exceptions). It seems that initiation rituals are hard-wired into the College’s students. The various minions in the administration chase after the malefactors, mostly in vain — unless someone steps forward from within a student grouping.

I am left with a larger question. Why?

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