By Luke Vermeer
Wilfred Laurier University has suspended its baseball team for four games and is considering a full season suspension.
The suspension comes after evidence of hazing came to the attention of the university’s athletic department.
Athletic director Peter Baxter said in an article on their athletic website that hazing is not tolerated at the university.
“If teams defy the university’s zero-tolerance policy on hazing, then they will be denied the privilege to play for the Golden Hawks,” Baxter told Laurier’s website.
“It is a tough lesson that must be learned but a necessary one so that we ensure the culture of hazing is eradicated.”
According to the university’s website, the team will be offered the chance to explain its actions and based on the explanation the university will determine whether or not to suspend the team for the entire year.
So far the university has not explained what the hazing was, merely describing it on the website as dehumanizing and degrading behaviour.
A study from the University of Calgary in 1997 stated that hazing is widespread in sports and many simply accept it as a fact of life.
“Athletes routinely referred to the normative character of hazing and to the membership’s strive to collectively galvanize their identities around a common experience,” the study said.
Humber’s athletic director Doug Fox said that hazing will not be tolerated at the college.
“If it ever happened at Humber it would be immediate cause for suspension, either of the entire team or just the captains, based on the severity of the incident,” said Fox.
Fox also said that Humber looks for other opportunities for the teams to bond.
“We try to set an atmosphere where hazing isn’t a part of our school. We offer many different opportunities for team building that are much more constructive than hazing.”