Hazing a useless tradtion

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Though the Laurier varsity baseball team’s poor decision to enact hazing upon its teammates was unfortunate and immature, it thankfully shed light on an issue that is often overlooked.

Hazing, which seems like a completely primitive practice, is argued to operate as a method of social bonding; something a competitive sports team highly values. In order to play effectively as a team, you need to break the ice and learn to be comfortable with each other. Some organizations choose to handle this barrier by attending conferences, or retreats. Others, as demonstrated by our baseball team, chose to participate in asinine rituals designed to humiliate and endanger the lives of others.

The idea that senior team members need to ‘break in’ newcomers or assert their power in order to form a cohesive unit is completely ridiculous and it is clear the Laurier Athletics Department shares the same sentiment.

The university took immediate measures to investigate and discipline the hazing of the baseball team members by suspending them from four games and leaving the rest up to the team itself.

Having a zero hazing tolerance policy, the university forced the team to take responsibility and plead their case for participating in the remainder of the season. A case they must have pleaded well as their suspension was lifted after the initial four games Monday afternoon.

While it is difficult to make any assessments on whether the punishment was too harsh, just right or not harsh enough without knowing the details of the hazing incident itself, it is clear the issue was treated seriously and that is a step in the right direction.

Now, we can only hope the players involved, as well as athletes in general, have learned a lesson.             In this instance, the hazing allegedly involved only alcohol, however it begs questioning where we draw the line; there is a serious distinction between harmless jokes and putting somebody’s well-being at risk.

Any hazing activities that dehumanize and endanger somebody’s life should be reevaluated and sports teams should be encouraged to find other ways to bond

—The Cord Editorial Board

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