MSU President: Thailand will be in a terrible way if freshmen complain about hazing

Bangkok – Anti-hazing group at Mahasarakham University plan further campaigns after their anti-hazing clip posted on YouTube attracted over 150,000 views while the MSU President condemns these students for “too much study in human rights classes”.

When the Nightmare of Hazing is Spotlighted.

A YouTube video showing an anti-freshman hazing protest at Maha Sarakham University (MSU) has sparked a social network and internet discussion.

The video was taken on June 5, 2011, during the final day of freshman orientation or the hazing ritual at Maha Sarakham University (MSU) in Maha Sarakham Province about 475 km (294 miles) northeast of Bangkok.  It has become popular overnight among Thai netizens, attracting over 150,000 views.

The video, uploaded on June 6, is entitled “Rab Nong Mor Mor Sor” (MSU Freshman Orientation).  It shows senior students trying to stop the cameraman from video-recording a few freshmen fainting during the ritual.

Dozens of student activists then run in front of and onto the stage, holding up anti-hazing placards in attempt to protest the ritual conducted by hundreds of senior students and attended by thousands of freshman students.

“You are protesting against the staff, you are defying our authority,” says a senior student leader on the stage, dissatisfied with anti-hazing group. “Get out! You are ruining the spirit which has been our heritage for more than 40 years. Aren’t you proud of this university? You’d better find a new university.”

The seniors’ attempt to bar the anti-hazing activists was eventually successful. In scenes of confusion, the shout of “Get Out, Get Out, Get Out” from senior students can be heard on the video as seniors try to force the activists from the stage.

Their attempt to protest the ritual might have failed at the first round. However, this 7-minute video was posted on Internet forums like,, and disseminated on social networks like Facebook.

[Caption] These frames from a YouTube video show dozens of student activists at Maha Sarakham University, Maha Sarakham Province, Thailand during their anti-freshmen hazing protest on June 5, 2011. (TheNickacid/

MSU President condemns the anti-hazing group as “too knowledgeable”.

According to anti-hazing activist Yuttana Loonsamrong, a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in political science at MSU who spoke to Prachatai on June 9, his group wanted to get onto the stage where the head of the hazing staff was stationed to make an anti-hazing statement.

Yuttana’s attempt to communicate his message to the students at large failed after his group was barred by senior students. The video shows some of them held and surrounded by hazing staff.

A senior student acting as an intermediary then negotiated between pro- and anti-hazing activists. Finally, the anti-hazing group were allowed to present their statement and demand to Asst. Prof. Sujin Butdisuwan, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs.

However, Prof. Supachai Samappito, Maha Sarakham University President, disagreed with the anti-hazing activists.

In an interview with ASTV Manager on June 10, 2011 he claimed that the ritual would make freshman students love the university, teach them to sing the university songs and make them committed to the university. He also claimed that the university authorities always watch over the ritual.

“It is usual for a few freshmen to faint because there are a large number of students during the ritual.” said Supachai. “In the video, the seniors were dressed in military-type trousers so they looked a bit dictatorial but there was nothing in it.”

“They [anti-hazing students] are too knowledgeable. They have been studying human rights too much so they called for a protest. Some master’s degree students infiltrated this group. I’m not sure if they might want to create the conditions to hold some seminar.”

Supachai accepted that a senior student shown in the video was not mature enough and said some things that were improper. “That was a sudden situation,” said Supachai, “there will be some discussion with him”.

The MSU President also confirmed that it was not necessary for the university to hold a press conference after the video was disseminated.

“There are a lot of nice video clips [about the freshman orientation at MSU] people should see.” said Supachai.

“No student has complained about this ritual before. If students complain about [the hazing], Thailand will be in a terrible way. This is just a cultural inheritance from seniors to freshmen,” said Supachai.

Decades of tragedy but the time for fear is running out.

Freshman orientation is usually held at Thai universities in the first week or month of the academic year. There is also hazing and fagging during orientation week or month.

The issues of hazing practices on campus are repeatedly discussed in Thailand. Each year Thai society faces countless cases of human rights abuse ending in the tragedy of either death or serious injury.

Yuttana still plans to launch further campaigns on campus and seek more supporters. “I always believe that what we have done will wake students up. At least they would wonder why there are many students who disagree with hazing.”

“No more fear, the time for fear is running out,” said Yuttana.



Why do hazing, violence,

Why do hazing, violence, force, lack of understanding why people haven't complained before, political repression, charlatans posing as university officials and confused students who something think they are God's gift for instruction to mankind...why do these things seem to go hand-in-hand for a society in love with its image but which hates reality, freedom, temperance and democracy?

“No student has complained

“No student has complained about this ritual before. If students complain about [the hazing], Thailand will be in a terrible way. This is just a cultural inheritance from seniors to freshmen,” said Supachai.

Hazing is mediocrity's answer to meritocracy, and Supachai's little spiel as university president in defense of traditional intimidation tactics is the most vivid demonstration possible of the oligarchy's unreasoning commitment to tradition at all costs. 'Tradition' is the only hope a minority has of continuing to assert its interests to the detriment of those of everyone else, to those of the majority of the population.

Standing up for unreason surely strikes most people as perverse coming from a university president, but that seems exactly what it takes to become a university president in Thailand, and the protector of unquestioned and unquestionable privilege, 'tradition', and the continuing rule by an oligarchic minority.

There might be a good way to

There might be a good way to try and justify hazing and pretend that it isn't just an excuse for bullying and allowing seniors and staff to enhance their own egos and feel all powerful and good about themselves, but this isn't it.

The good professor just makes himself look like a twat, which is probably exactly what he is.

If these practices were

If these practices were entirely voluntary, attendance and participation would fall dramatically. There are stories every year about ritual humiliation at every University. I have anecdotal evidence from Silpakorn and Chulalonkhorn that defy their position at the top of the academic tree. If this is what it takes to instil loyalty to an institution, there is something deeply troubled in the psyche of the many people who promote and engage in these bizarre rituals. But then, attend a training day for young teenagers at Ror Dor, and you may see a version of the same ritual humiliation of thousands of boys in the name of building loyalty. It is no more than an exercise in power.

Another reason that the Thai

Another reason that the Thai education system is lacking when Presidents of Universities have opinions like his.

Guess he doesn't want students that are too knowledgeable for fear they will expose the University staff as being incompetent.

"They [anti-hazing students]

"They [anti-hazing students] are too knowledgeable. They have been studying human rights too much..."

I think this says it all. A university director who:

1) shows his fascist political bent, and;

2) clearly states he does not want students to be "knowledgeable".

Who would want their kids to go to such a place? Well...those that share his views, for one. They want their kids, probably like them, to finish their mediocre education and ignore human rights while not knowing "too much".

Franks's labeling the lèse

Franks's labeling the lèse majesté 'problem' as basically a conscious, and perfidious frame-up, as the creation of an in-group/out-group dynamic to be manipulated by the 'elite', struck me as worthwhile to bring back here...

Kudos and good fortune against a stream of repression...

What better way to dispose even of their will to fight by authoritatively asking, "What's the matter...aren't you Thai?" This ages-old excuse for incompetent and dictatorial rule has no guise because it is borne of raw power and intimidation.

This is not a Thai problem. It's a human problem and, I maintain, its not easily amenable to being overcome rationally without dogged, conscious effort.

Hazing, and lèse majesté persecution might be viewed as an extreme, wide-ranging case of hazing, is about creating in-groups, and corresponding out-groups as well. The house that I rent has a bedroom door whereon a router was masterfully used to create the shield of the Liverpool Football Club. It says : "You'll never walk alone." Not when you're a member of the in-group for Liverpool. I don't know much about the dynamics of rooting for 'soccer'... but I do remember the stories of drunken 'soccer' hoodlums from the British Isles, for instance, behaving very shabbily indeed on the Continent. Among the out-group, where it "didn't matter".

In fact the desire to belong to an in-group is so strong that these football and most other sorts of clubs are not about football, or whatever, at all really, but are about feeding our 'jones' for in-group membership. They're political in the broadest sense... or the narrowest, ask Newin.

It must be genetic, surely left over from the days when life immediately depended upon belonging to an in-group; a vestige, a remnant of the hundreds of thousands, millions of years of selection pressure when it was an 'instinct' that made the trait's possessors 'more fit' than those who had it not. We've only lived in cities, more or less under laws, for ten thousand years, on the outside, not nearly long enough to select against it.

So we have to make up with reason what has not yet been selected for and implanted in our genes : the rejection of the 'mob thrill' and its substitution by individual reflection.

If we want to remain fit enough to continue to live on this planet.

Jai Ungpakorn reproduces an

Jai Ungpakorn reproduces an older article of his own from Bangkok Business (กรุงเทพธุรกิจ) on The Nightmare of SOTUS wherein he defines SOTUS hazing as

Stupid, Out-dated Tyranny, that is Uncivilized. So just Stop it!

You can find it here if you find the MICT is preventing your reading it at its source.

“They [anti-hazing students]

“They [anti-hazing students] are too knowledgeable."

Gee, I must have been mistaken. I thought universities were all about increasing knowledge. This guy is the rector?

Speaking of a University

Speaking of a University President acting against academic freedom and integrity in order to bolster the status quo and the powers that be there was a story in the Bangkok Post and a, needless to say, much better follow up in the Isaan Record on Kittibodi Yaipool, the acting Dean of the Faculty of Law at Know Kaen University since 2006, finally recommended to assume the position by faculty in 2010, overruled by the political President of Khon Kaen University in 2011. Not only overruled but, according to the Isaan Record :

Then, on June 16, the national “Wai Khru” holiday for honoring teachers, Mr. Kittibodi arrived to the Law Faculty to find a series of posters accusing him and six of his staff of destroying official documents. The signed notices from University President Kittichai Triratanasirichai barred all seven employees from re-entering the faculty. In some cases, photocopied pictures of the accused were posted beneath the President’s order.

Villagers march in front of the Office of the President.

Now, Mr. Kittibodi argues that his rights have been compromised. “There was no due process,” he explained in an interview. “The principles of human rights state that you are innocent until proven guilty.”

The people of Isaan are not taking this lying down and neither should the Law Faculties at universities throughout Thailand.



"First they came for Kittibodi in Khon Kaen, but I didn't speak out because I wasn't from Khon Kaen..."