SUPHANBURI — A freshman and her parents have filed a police complaint against senior students who hazed her class by kicking students until they bruised, and splashing them with water and dirt to encourage mosquito bites.
“How can you be in an institution of higher learning but use such low thinking?” said the mother of the student, a civil-engineering student from Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi’s Suphanburi Campus
The family came forward after the mother found bruises all over her daughter’s body. “If it’s going to be like this, she shouldn’t have to go to university anymore. When I saw all the bruises I started crying,” the mother said.
The girl, whose name is omitted, was living in a dorm on campus and initially happy to participate in rub nong welcoming activities. But the tide changed when in private Facebook groups, roon p (upperclassmen) demanded younger students assemble within five minutes at odd hours of the night on the risk of punishment.
Once the freshmen assembled, the roon p would force them to roll in dirt and splash them with water, before leaving them outdoors to be bitten by mosquitoes.
At least 24 civil-engineering students were subjected to the hazing over the past week, according to the freshman.
“People allergic to mosquito bites got rashes all over. Then they screamed at us, said threatening things and kicked us. The girls kicked the girls, the guys kicked the guys,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do. If I didn’t go, my friends would get kicked on my behalf.
The hazing continued for weeks, said the student, with the younger students coerced by the roon p not to tell anyone about their treatment.
“I was so afraid. I felt very down mentally,” she said. “They said the hazing would create good relationships between roon p and roon nong [underclassmen].”
The roon p also told the freshmen that the hazing would prepare them for working life.
“When you go into the workforce, you have to learn how to endure and be strong,” she recalled the senior students saying.
She said she got too little sleep to concentrate in class, since the hazing would last until around 2am. “I came here to learn and make friends. There must be better ways to do rub nong than this,” she said.
According to anti hazing activist Kollawach Doklumjiak, the freshman and her mother have filed a police complaint as of Thursday.
Another student, along with his dad, filed a police complaint on Wednesday to Sam Chuk Provincial Police.
“I was hazed in my freshman year. But now I’m in my second year and I’m still being hazed,” said the student. “This kind of thing shouldn’t be happening in this era.”
Police Col. Sombat Ornsomboon promised the police will investigate the case for physical assault and intimidation.
Suwit Wongyeun, deputy director of the university, apologized for the hazing Wednesday and said that he will punish the perpetrators. All rub nong activities have been halted.
Hazing activities according to the creed of SOTUS (Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, and Spirit) can be violent and have even resulted in fatalities. Most recently, a high schooler in Nakhon Pathom was kicked into a coma by his roon p on June 28.