An innocent scavenger hunt organized by a student volunteer at Syracuse University in New York has been deemed “hazing” by school officials, leading to the derailment of the student’s academic career.
The hunt was voluntary and intended to be friendly, but it caused major consequences for the organizer.
Student Punished for Organizing Voluntary Scavenger Hunt
In an effort to defend Eriendeep Uppal, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression has written a letter to Syracuse University, a school with a history of speech violations.
Uppal faced consequences for organizing a voluntary scavenger hunt that was deemed “hazing” by university officials.
2 Syracuse University fraternity members charged for hazing stunt that could cost pledge 4 fingers, police say http://t.co/UCYMGNTLVH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 6, 2015
According to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Syracuse University’s handling of a voluntary scavenger hunt organized by a student resulted in the suspension of that student.
Syracuse University Charges Student With Hazing
The hunt involved awarding points for daring feats, such as licking the Abraham Lincoln statue or kissing an OL on Syracuse’s famous Kissing Bench.
While the scavenger hunt was a brief and lighthearted activity, the OLs were otherwise focused on helping incoming students move into their dorms, answering questions from families about campus life, and coordinating events to ease students into college life.
According to FIRE, Syracuse University officials inexplicably charged student Orientation Leader Eriendeep Uppal with hazing and threatening the mental health of others for organizing an optional scavenger hunt that was enjoyed by her fellow OLs.
The FIRE report suggests that university administrators are allergic to anything joyous or merry.
A fraternity at Syracuse University is under fire for a second hazing video leak. pic.twitter.com/GXVvFRmVlG
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 23, 2018
Despite charging student Orientation Leader Eriendeep Uppal with hazing and threatening the mental health of others, FIRE reports that Syracuse University officials could not find a single student who was harmed at all by the voluntary scavenger hunt organized by Uppal.
In fact, one student testified they enjoyed participating in the activity, including kissing another OL on the university’s famous Kissing Bench.
The FIRE notes that all of the students interviewed by the university affirmed they did not feel pressured to partake in the scavenger hunt or any of its tasks, which were completely voluntary.
FIRE has written a letter to Syracuse University, objecting to the school’s handling of a voluntary scavenger hunt organized by student Orientation Leader Eriendeep Uppal, which the school deemed “hazing” and a threat to the mental health of others.
Despite the university’s commitment to students’ free speech, it has received the organization’s 2021 “Lifetime Censorship Award” for its poor track record on free speech.
In its report, the FIRE pointed out Syracuse University claimed the task of kissing another OL on the university’s famous Kissing Bench could lead to emotional trauma or confusion, as kissing someone is a personal decision that should not be influenced by others.
The school also claimed the scavenger hunt could potentially lead to sickness, hospitalization, fractures, or broken bones.This article appeared in Right Wing Insider and has been published here with permission.