University hazing scandal goes viral in South Korea

Football team being doused in ‘milky fermented alcohol’ shines light on practice more commonly associated with the US

March 29, 2016
South Korea flag

US-style university hazing has caused a storm in South Korea after a photo showing new students being doused with alcohol went viral.

According to the Korea Herald, “A group of students were shown lined up with hands politely clasped in front while an older-looking student poured makgeolli, milky fermented alcohol, over their bowed heads.”

It said that the drink appear to contained bits of “unidentifiable filth”.

A spokesperson for Dong-a University, based in the southern city of Busan, told the newspaper that the initiation was administered by a football club in the university’s chemical engineering department earlier this month.

It imitated a Korean folk ritual that wards off bad luck and evil spirits, they said.

The university has vowed to investigate the entire department and to punish those responsible.

A photo of the initiation emerged on Facebook, with the poster, who said he was the brother of one of those being initiated, asking whether the ritual was acceptable, reported the Korea Times.

The incident drew a critical reaction online.

“We’re in the 21st century, which should not tolerate things like this,” one student wrote, according to the paper. “Look at the students. They’re all looking down as if they were prison inmates. Do you believe that the students agreed to do this? I don’t believe so.”

“I am not proud of my school at all. I wasn’t aware this was happening at my school. I think this should be abolished,” another wrote.

The newspaper reported that such hazing is not uncommon in the country, and that last week a new student at another university had died drinking during a welcoming party with more senior students.

david.matthews@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Related articles

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together