An investigation has commenced into sports team hazing allegations involving the women’s rugby team at Norwich University. Norwich University is a historic military college. The sports team hazing allegations involve waterboarding and branding, according to Chief of the Northfield Police Department John Helfant.
The investigation by law enforcement commenced on March 20, 2022. The investigation commenced when the police received a report that a student had been held at knifepoint in one of the dorms on the Norwich University campus. The person lodging the report is said to be the victim of the alleged crime. She identified herself as a member of the women’s rugby team at the university. She signed an affidavit attesting to the allegations she is making.
According to the Chief of Police, the affidavit includes allegations by the victim that she was branded by fellow team members. She also reports being waterboarded during the process as well.
The branding is said to have involved the use of cadet brass or insignia taken from uniforms worn by students at the military institution. The cadet brass was heated up and then used to brand the skin of the victim or victims of this sports team hazing incident. At this time, it does appear that more members of the women’s rugby team were branded beyond the individual that initially reported the sports team hazing to law enforcement.
The police obtained warrants to search down rooms at the university. The warrants also granted law enforcement access to electronic communications from students thought to have been a part of the alleged sports team hazing incident.
The President of Norwich University, Dr. Mark Anarumo, released a brief statement about the allegations and investigation by law enforcement. Anarumo stated that the university is cooperating with the investigation. His statement also included:
It would be inappropriate to discuss the specifics of the event. At the conclusion of the investigation, Norwich University will take appropriate legal action and disciplinary measures to preserve the safety of our community and perpetuate a positive culture across our campus and with our community partners. We will all play our part in encouraging an atmosphere of learning, social responsibility, and respect for human dignity, and will tirelessly address any behavior that is incongruous with this responsibility.
As of this time, there is no specific information available from the university administration in regard to what steps it will take in response to the allegations of sports team hazing, waterboarding, and branding. An internal investigation at the university is likely. At this juncture, the university itself may be holding off initiating its own investigation in order to avoid any possible interference with what law enforcement is doing in response to the allegations.
Norwich University is the oldest private military institution of higher learning in the United States. Founded in 1819, the university is considered to be the birthplace of the ROTC.
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