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Towson cheerleader hazing: Full year suspension too harsh? Diapers, beer only

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A Towson cheerleader hazing scandal has become public knowledge this week, and the entire Towson University cheerleading squad was subsequently sentenced to a full year suspension throughout the 2013-2014 season as punishment. However, some critics are now saying that such disciplining was too harsh for the crime, as the only hazing rituals an investigative team found was that the girls were forced to drink a little beer or alcohol and wear adult diapers. CBS Local describes what went on behind the scenes in an official authorities’ report on the less-shocking-than-expected incident this Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

Although the discovery of the hazing was made back in early 2013, the disciplining against the Towson University cheerleader team was a hefty and relatively long-term one. The entire squad was put on a full-year suspension for the following school year after school administrators agreed upon a suitable punishment. Yet a number of voices are claiming with the release of the investigation that these girls really did no wrong to their new cheerleaders.

“The university found that freshmen on the team had gone to an off-campus apartment, where they were told at the door by veteran members that they could say no to anything they were asked to do.”

Already this seems to show a lighter side to the Towson cheerleader hazing situation, as anyone who felt uncomfortable with the proceedings had the opportunity to say no to a particular dare or ritual. The report goes on:

“Then the women were told they had a choice between doing cocaine or heroin...but only to test their understanding of team rules … Although no drugs were provided, this was done to let the new members on the team know that the team was drug free," investigators commented in the citation file.

Once again, shares Deadspin News in their satirical review, the cheerleaders were not given any harmful drugs, nor were they even suggested to take anything dangerous at this point in time. However, the report went on to declare that some of the girls were asked to participate in some illicit activities, including funneling alcohol or drinking beer. Others said that they were asked to wear adult diapers and then asked to do a silly dance.

When one thinks of a hazing ritual in today's modern college campuses or universities, a little beer drinking and foolish activities like dancing in an adult diaper are probably not what come to mind. After all, shares the press release, even less severe punishments have been given to some students charged with hazing incoming freshman or sports applicants through much worse methods. And with no drugs present, limited alcohol, and an apparent complete lack of physical or sexual exploitation involved, the decision of the school administrators to ban the girls from participating the whole next year remains questionable.

While some punishment may have indeed been necessary for the Towson cheerleading hazing “scandal,” do you believe that it was right the squad was put on a full year suspension for the 2013-2014 sports season as a result of the investigative team’s findings? The drinking of the beer and the mere creation of a hazing ritual might seem reason enough, but others appear to feel that this punishment was too harsh and blown way out of proportion.

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