Hazing is abuse and bullying! Praxe é abuso!
This morning I woke up to an opinion piece, by the writer Teolinda Gersão, in the Portuguese newspaper “Público”. This piece was about academic hazing among university students in Portugal. I have been living out of Portugal since 2000 but my network of friends and colleagues – plus what I get from the media – keep me more or less informed about how things work (or don’t work). Last year the whole country was taken aback by the death of 6 university students while undergoing some sort of ritualistic hazing activities. The tragedy made the international news, including the New York Times, and has not been dealt with properly in the courts. But this post is not about that case. This post is about the “Open Letter” (Carta Aberta) that Ms Gersão wrote to the students – and especially to this year’s freshers – most of whom are now being abused on a daily basis in an attempt to try to “fit in” in their new academic environment. Ms Gersão’s piece can be seen here. It is in Portuguese and, somehow, the link has been broken most of the day, so I am adding here the snapshot – just in case it ‘disappears’ again. I am also providing the text in English so that my students in the UK can learn about other university realities.