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A Haze of Unhappiness
By Janna C., Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

What extreme would you go to, just to be generally accepted by your teammates? Maybe it's just me, but I could care less if the senior quarterback that made me eat rotten food and dunked my head in a toilet bowl, liked or accepted me.

Behind the tough, jock facade, many school sports team rookies are enduring large amounts of pain and/or embarrassment to simply impress the rest of their team. It's called hazing, and whether it be something totally disgusting and outrageous, or something tame and playful, this absurd initiation process is present in every school.

Before his first game on a Halifax hockey rink, grade 12 F.H.S. student Thomas J. C. or "Poindexter" as they referred to him as, was forced by his teammates to fight fellow rookie "Weasel" in a shower. "We were fighting for a while and I was winning, but then thankfully the coach came in and stopped us," said Thomas.

"When I first joined the rugby team at my old high school, all the veterans made me eat this really gross stuff, of which its contents are still unknown," said grade 12 F.H.S. student Myles H., "I was really sick the rest of the day."

Is hazing present in our school? Most definitely. A common initiation ritual for the football team at our school is to "paddle" the rookie. This is when the veterans take a large paddle-like wooden object and make repeated contact with the person's bottom with applied force.

A more disgusting hazing ritual occurs annually with the school's hockey team. At the beginning of last years hockey season, the rookies and the veterans were put in two separate rooms. One by one, the rookies were beckoned into the room with the veterans and told to eat a single marshmallow that had been previously been placed on a table top. Seemingly innocent, the rookie would do as they were told. They would then be told to take a new marshmallow from the bag and swipe it on the sweatiest, dirtiest part of their body, and were then asked to leave it there for the next rookie to eat.

Most hazing rituals at our school are not life-threatening, but for sure not an activity you would like to partake in daily.

"In junior high, a few of the basketball team veterans and I took a few of the rookies when they were just in their underwear and we pushed them into the girls locker room when it was full of girls. Nobody got hurt, it was just really embarrassing for them," said grade 12 F.H.S. student Jim P.

Some initiation methods, if regulated and supervised can be appropriate, but there's always those crazy, sadistic jocks out there looking for a good time at someone else's expense.


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