A SERIES of disturbing photos showing the inhumane treatment meted out against freshmen during an induction session at a university in Thailand has gone viral on social media recently.
According to Mashable Asia, a student group at the Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok has been slammed after subjecting dozens of first-year students to cruel initiation rites.
The album of 40 images was released Tuesday by Anti-Sotus, a group campaigning against the practice of hazing in higher learning institutions on its Facebook page.
Anti-Sotus claims the freshmen a student body called Ram Langsuan was behind the abuse of the students.
The series of photos earned the ire of netizens who were incensed by the abuse, pointing out that the university should not have allowed it to be carried out.
Following the public outcry, the university has launched a probe into the incident, and was investigating Ram Langsuan’s conduct.
Denying any wrongdoing on Ram Langsuan’s part, its president, Pathiparn Meepian, claims the students in the photos were merely playing along with the “fun” activity by acting as though they were suffering.
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“If you were there, you’d know it wasn’t as cruel as it looks in the pictures,” he was quoted as saying.
“I think it’s not violence. Well you can say I’m selfish, but all the freshmen who agreed to go know what was gonna happen. I don’t think too much about people who don’t know the truth.”
Known in Thai collectively as ‘rab nong’ (welcome the juniors), hazing rituals at Thailand’s universities remains prevalent in Thailand, despite often coming under heavy criticism by the Thai and international press, as well as growing numbers of Thai anti-hazing groups for sometimes violent, dehumanizing, and humiliating practices.
Hazing, which comes under the banner of SOTUS (Seniority: Order: Tradition: Unity: Spirit), at its worst has led to the deaths of students, although loss of life does not frequently happen.
However, the degradation of juniors by seniors, is commonplace, and has been widely reported by the press and students themselves.