As a partial result of the men's hockey hazing incident, interest in hazing has spiked within administrative circles on campus, reflecting an equivalent concern among students.

Just recently, the Meddiebempsters, the oldest a cappella group, were cited for hazing their three new first year members and was subsequently banned from performing at select athletic and departmental events until March 10. In their defense, they argued that there is much more widespread and destructive hazing occurring on campus. In comparison, the Meddies' situation was miniscule.

Though not excusing their behavior, the Meddies make a valid point, and Allen Delong and Tim Foster have promised, according to the Orient, to "investigate all incidents of hazing that are brought to their attention."

We agree, and we would like them to begin their investigation with a particularly pernicious form of hazing.

We are concerned that Bowdoin College may in fact be systematically hazing its entire first year class through the annual initiation ritual known as "orientation." Simply perusing the College's guide for identifying hazing, we see that this is so. Orientation, planned far in advance of their arrival, singles out students of the new class from those of other classes, separating them physically, emotionally and mentally from the rest of Bowdoin.

While some of the ringleaders of this event may protest that there is no element of coercion and nothing to make students feel uncomfortable, we beg to differ. While the alcohol talk and "do the jellyfish" may have been enjoyable, we recall days of emotional scarring and humiliation that persist to this day, thanks to numerous class bonding activities.

And unlike some of the more risqué behaviors (drinking at a college party, gasp!) that the Meddies engaged in during their hazing, the events of orientation are entirely non-optional. Barry Mills' annual Convocation speech, while ostensibly a rousing welcome to first years open to students of all classes, is surely just another insidious way to make these first year students feel like outsiders.

Perhaps everyone does not feel as alienated as we did going through this annual ritual. In fact, one of our friends even reported enjoying Barry Mills' speech; he felt that it was a good way to welcome first years to a new school and a new group of friends. Fortunately, Delong and others in the administration join us in recognizing the "power differential" inherent in hazing that precludes these welcoming rituals from being considered consensual.

Perhaps orientation, a clear violation of the rather hazy guidelines that Bowdoin publishes, actually serves a different, healthy purpose. Perhaps events and rituals such as these target first years because they are the very group that most needs welcoming into the Bowdoin family (or a cappella group, sports team or club).

While these events have certainly been destructive and unsafe in the past, maybe the College should take a more nuanced look at hazing, truly separating it from initiation.

Perhaps there are others like us on campus who have gone through initiation rituals and find Delong's comments about consent not only misleading, but also insulting in the extreme. We actively chose to go through orientation initiation, participated in it, and enjoyed it, and to tell us (and those of similar feelings) that those feelings are a product of intimidation and na‹veté is both degrading and infuriating. For many, "hazing" activities constitute some of the most enjoyable and memorable Bowdoin experiences.

We agree that actions in the past by certain sports teams were completely unacceptable; however, hazing events are often safe, inclusive and fun. The College should update its policies to be more in line with reality instead of abandoning discretion and nuance to the detriment of the very student body it purports to protect.

Keel Dietz and Chris Sanville are members of the Class of 2012.