Hockey

OPINION: Hidden information in hazing scandal

OPINION: Hidden information in hazing scandal
Time to hear the full story from the university. (Richard Lafortune photo)
written by Graeme Benjamin
January 12, 2013 10:06 pm
Time to hear the full story from the university. (Richard Lafortune photo)

Time to hear the full story from the university. (Richard Lafortune photo)

“I read the statements and they’re still being extremely selective in terms of what they’re sharing actually occurred at the party.” —Dalhousie spokesperson Charles Crosby

This is a statement that people following the women’s hockey hazing scandal have heard multiple times from Crosby as this story has unfolded. He has been consistent in reiterating that the players have been dishonest in their explanation of what occurred and that he will not release what happened at the house party to protect the privacy of the affected players. Understandably so, but with an entire university interested in this issue, and in a story that has gained national attention, it’s extremely difficult to keep anyone’s identity a secret now.

Let’s put things in perspective: all 19 non-rookies have been suspended, leaving only five rookies that currently make up Dal’s hockey team. That must mean those five players were the individuals who got hazed at the house party, right? They are the victims.

As a result, Crosby’s efforts to keep the identities private of the players affected by the hazing have been completely ineffective. Their identities are out. We know who the affected players are. At this point, Crosby might as well tell the public everything he knows. Right now, by not telling the public, it creates the impression that there’s more to this party than what we already know. That doubt works in the university’s favour—it makes us believe this party could have been much worse. But maybe there isn’t more to this party? Maybe what the players told everyone is indeed true?

This is just one example of the ineffectiveness in how this whole hazing incident has been handled. The university allegedly ‘bullied’ the players into signing a behavioural contract they didn’t even have the full opportunity to read it. They were then told they had to go through one-on-one interviews in what the team’s statement refers to as ‘interrogations.’ The university also made their decision in November and only informed the team at the beginning of 2013. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Crosby can still, however, tell the media and the public what happened at the house party. This wrong can still be made right. Instead of telling people that the women are only providing select information of what occurred at the party, tell us what actually happened. Hazing can be such a vague term and multiple conclusions can be reached depending on whom you talk to.

Hazing can range anywhere from verbal attacks to physical assault. There have been hazing incidents in the past that have actually led to death. So what actually happened and how serious was it? If it was as serious as he’s making it out to be, then maybe this bandwagon of support the players have received will diminish. If he provides this information to the public, people may begin to feel at ease about the punishments. Maybe the university is hiding something from us? At this point, who knows.

Until Crosby provides us with this information, we will just have to believe what the players say.

 

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