Student death turns spotlight on hazing in universities

Thai universities’ infamous orientation activities have again come under the spotlight following the tragic death of 22-year-old student Veeraphan Tamklang in the capital, Bangkok, this month after he was kicked to death by a group of 12 senior students as punishment for not pitching any ideas for hazing activities, reports Deutsche Welle.

These sorts of stories still regularly make headlines in Thailand, in spite of widespread condemnation of the brutal culture of humiliating and degrading initiations, and multiple campaigns by universities to stamp it out. “We always see this kind of news when a new semester is approaching. The system is rotten. It encourages seniors to think they can do whatever they please, that they are the ones in power and can abuse it,” Phongsatorn Tancharoen, the 20-year-old vice president of Chawdin Party at Mahasarakham University, told DW.

At the beginning of each academic year, Thailand’s college freshmen and women undergo hazing rituals at decades-old traditional welcoming ceremonies. The degree of hazing varies among schools and faculties. Most new students usually undergo weeks of hazing from their seniors in the name of bonding with their faculty classmates under the creed of Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity and Spirit (SOTUS).
Full report on the DW site