Students Accused Of Waterboarding In Hazing Incident At A Military School

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | 3 months ago

waterboarding

Norwich University military school was served with police warrants last Friday after they allegedly refused to comply with an investigation of a hazing incident involving the women’s rugby team. The school claims it has fully cooperated with law enforcement, but the victim in question was branded, and potentially took part in waterboarding another student. The victim had been drunk, and the question of how far hazing has to go before it crosses the line between simple teasing and straight-up torture is now being called into question yet again. 

On March 20th police officer Karie Tucker responded to a call that someone was being kept at knifepoint. The victim had grabbed a knife when someone broke into her room and branded her using a lighter and pliers. She admitted that she had been drunk and was too intoxicated to say no or fight back. The victim then produced her cell phone with Snapchat images documenting how she and another student had held a 3rd girl down, placed a washcloth over her face, and poured the liquid onto the cloth. The officer described the images as “waterboarding.” Her affidavit helped investigators seize the phone with a warrant to uncover all the details of what went on that night.

This is not the first time that police have had to investigate on-campus behavior. In February an unrelated fight broke out in the school’s Dalrymple Hall, yet despite this, the school decided it would not offer security footage or other investigative materials collected through private security to police without a subpoena. Having been called again in such a short time frame, warrants were obtained for the waterboarding incident and students have been advised by the school to cooperate with law enforcement, but many wonder how this will be resolved. 

waterboarding

Hazing is a common practice in high schools and colleges, especially military schools. In recent years some of these pranks and efforts led to the death of students. Not only that but within the military itself this is not uncommon. In 2020, a psychological analysis of, “Hazing In The United States Military,” was published to examine and provide more extensive research on military hazing specifically because it is so widespread. This report notes how little research has been done on the subject, and how activities like waterboarding are not just used to unofficially induct members into underground societies, fraternities, or sororities, but hazing is even used by commanding officers to demean and abuse students. 

In many of the cases mentioned within the report, those injured or involved were sworn to secrecy  and told not to take injured soldiers/students to a medical professional, or report any unlawful hazing to the police. Because of the secretive nature of many of these sorts of incidents, it is impossible to know how many go unreported or just how far some forms of hazing go. It is noted that women are less harsh in how they abuse one another through hazing rituals, and so, based on cases like the one at Norwich University — where waterboarding is likely to have occurred — there’s no telling what other unlawful actions are being carried out at schools, and in ranks throughout the nation.