Study: Many Band Members Have Witnessed Hazing

May 15, 2015

About 30 percent of college marching band members surveyed in a new national study reported that they had observed hazing in their programs. Few of the students said they ever reported the behavior, however. “Despite all of our efforts, the message about hazing is still not getting out there,” Jason Silveira, an assistant professor of music education at Oregon State University and one of the study's authors, stated. “Band participants might say, 'it’s no big deal, it’s what we do.' It may not be a big deal to that person, but to someone else it may be.”

The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 students who participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I marching band programs in 30 states. The most common acts of hazing, the students said, involved public verbal humiliation or degradation. Students said they were hesitant to report the hazing, usually due to fear of "social retaliation."

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