Towson Cheerleader Hazing
June 5, 2014 by staff
Towson Cheerleader Hazing, Towson University’s top-ranked cheerleading team encouraged its new members to drink alcohol before they put on blindfolds, pulled adult diapers over their shorts and performed a dance described as a hazing ritual last summer, newly released documents show.
The documents, obtained by The Baltimore Sun in a public records request, outline violations of the student code — including serving alcohol to those under 21 — and detail for the first time why Towson’s cheerleading team was suspended by the university for the 2013-2014 academic year. The team appealed the punishment, which was later softened to one semester of probation that prevented them from performing.
Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Moriarty said the university has a “zero tolerance” policy for hazing.
“First and foremost we want our students to be safe, and that’s physically and emotionally and psychologically safe,” she said. “We don’t want a [university]-sanctioned organization to do anything that jeopardizes our students’ safety.”
Head cheerleading coach Edy Pratt declined to comment Tuesday.
Last August, an anonymous source contacted the university about the incident, and officials immediately launched an investigation, according to a summary of the university’s findings. 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.
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