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December 31, 2011 12:00 PM Punishing the Hazing Victims

By Daniel Luzer

In the wake of a serious hazing scandal at Florida A&M University in which a member of the school’s marching band died, one U.S Representative from Florida is apparently working to combat the problem.

Her tactics are a little strange. According to an article by Richard Simon in the Los Angeles Times:

In the wake of a college drum major’s death in Florida, a lawmaker from the state plans to introduce anti-hazing legislation when Congress returns in mid-January.
The bill would strip financial aid from anyone sanctioned by a university for hazing or witnessing hazing and failing to report it. “Hazing is demeaning, dangerous and, sadly, deadly,” [Frederica] Wilson, a former school principal, told The Times, adding that the death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion warrants a federal response.

Displaying a logic that calls to mind the sanctions for rape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, however, Rep. Wilson’s financial aid punishments would also apply to the victims of hazing who decline to report incidents.

Wilson says that particular component of the as-yet-undrafted bill would help encourage people to come forward. “They will tell because they don’t want to lose their federal aid,” Wilson told Simon.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer