At most universities, hazing is for fraternities and is sometimes banned. At Ave Maria University, hazing is for bears and positively encouraged — that is, for those who have received formal training in “bear hazing” tactics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”), as I did last week.
Seen below is Dan Dix, fellow trainee and owner of the town’s Queen Mary Pub, shooting a paintball gun in the dying daylight under the watchful eye of a FWC ranger. (It turns out that paintball guns are the instruments of choice for aversive conditioning.) No, the bear is not real but a cut-out. You might just be able to see the wood stake to which it is attached sticking up from the bear’s back. But we are keeping the recommended distance.