Microbiological hazards of "whirling"?
nlandau at eden.rutgers.edu
Sun Apr 27 16:54:13 EST 1997
Nancy Hamlett <Nancy_Hamlett at hmc.edu> writes:
>I am a faculty member at small college, which has a tradition I find
>appalling. Students who have a birthday, high-score an exam, or
>have otherwise notable achievements are "whirled". "Whirling"
>consists of inverting the victim, sticking her his or head into the
>bowl of toilet and flushing the toilet. This tradition is deeply
>ingrained in the student culture; however, our students are open to
>persuasion by objective data. Does anyone have an data or know of
>any sources that might have data relevant to the microbiological
>hazarads of whirling?
I do not have the data which you require. However, I can point out
that this practice, which you find appalling, is very common among
teenage males. Where I grew up, in Washington DC, we called this
kind of assault a "swirley." To commit the assault was to "give a
swirley." Having both received and administered a number of
swirleys, I cannot remember anyone having fallen ill as a result.
It stings the pride a bit, but that's the point.
Among friends, the practice is usually performed using a toilet
which has been purged of any excreted matter. Because it is a
form of hazing, it represents rowdy comradery, and not hatred
or a desire to alienate. Well, hopefully that's the purpose of
the practice at Mudd.
Why not perform a controlled experiment? Compare the rates of
contageous illness between a group of swirly victims and a group
of persons to whom no swirleys have been given during the period
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