January 4, 2013
Dalhousie women's hockey team suspended for hazing ritual
By SHEENA GOODYEAR, QMI Agency
Dalhousie University's women's hockey team won't be playing any more games this season after players engaged in a hazing ritual centred around booze and bullying.
School spokesman Charles Crosby wouldn't say exactly what the hazing ritual was, but said "it involved excessive drinking, humiliation and intimidation" aimed at first-year players.
"It was a case of bullying," he said.
The parents of one of the victims brought the hazing ritual to the attention of the Halifax school, which then launched an investigation.
As far as school officials know, this is the first year something like this has happened, Crosby said. Hazing scandals have erupted at other Canadian schools in recent years, including Carleton and Wilfrid Laurier.
Crosby was unable to say whether the victims are underage.
Dalhousie sacked all the team captains and suspended all the players — except the first-years — for the rest of the 2012-13 season.
"Which, in effect, will mean the team will have to forfeit the games for the rest of the year," Crosby said.
"This is unacceptable at Dalhousie. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hazing and initiation," he said. "It's not something we'll tolerate on campus."
The university is offering counselling to the students and expanding its programs to teach players about Dalhousie's anti-hazing and anti-bullying policies.
"What we hope is that going forward, there's something good that will come out of this," Crosby said, adding he hopes next year's team "will be that much more welcoming to new players."