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U of M students say they were required to watch film depicting rape, animal abuse

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students at the University of Memphis are in shock after the university required some students to watch a very graphic anti-hazing movie.

Some students said people left the room in tears after watching the film titled “Haze." It was meant to raise awareness of hazing among Greek life organizations, but instead, what students watched was a movie that displayed images of sexual assault and animal abuse.

“There was a part where there was a dog being raised by a pledge class," student Desiree Carter said. "Before they got initiated, they had to like kill him.”

Carter said film was about a young man looking to join a fraternity. In the movie, he’s faced with hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

WREG was told members of Greek life on campus were required to watch the film as a part of National Hazing Prevention Week. But many students found the images disturbing.

“I know a ton of girls that are still shaken up by that," Carter said.

On the movie’s website, they claim the film is “a raw, shocking glimpse into a world of institutionalized savagery.”

Many students we spoke with said the film does not represent Greek life at the U of M.

“Just in general, it seemed like it might have been from the perspective of a high schooler," student David Halford said.

Students said the film displayed several graphic images, including a woman being raped. Students said they were not given a warning about the film before it aired.

“With U of M showing this to us, it can make girls think that’s what they’re going to go through when they’re really not," student Shea Taylor said.

WREG got our hands on an email sent out to students after the screening from the senior coordinator for student engagement stating it was not the school’s intention to impact anyone in a negative way, and counseling would be available to anyone in need.

“We should be trying to, you know, of course inform people of the bad things that go on, but we shouldn’t be trying to scare people," a student said.

We reached out to the university's dean of students, and he said he usually encourages organizations to watch films in their entirety before showing it to a mass audience. He said in this case, that didn’t happen. Moving forward, he said it will be a requirement.

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