Education, prevention among anti-hazing goals
Issue date: 10/9/09 Section: News
Drexel University's Hazing Prevention Week activities included a presentation by Dr. Brian Crow, Slippery Rock University's associate professor of sports management. The presentation, "Anti-Hazing Strategies on College Campuses" covered types, consequences and prevention methods of hazing specific to student organizations, fraternities and sororities.
"No possible pledge mentioned anti-hazing week as a factor in them considering pledging, though Alpha Phi Omega has a long history of attracting and building leaders without any hazing rituals," Varun Malhotra, Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity member and sophomore finance major, said. "The prospects did ask about our hazing policy, and we told them that we believe you can build leaders without breaking them first."
Malhotra also noted that the students at his fraternity's rush events were "more aware" of the University's strong anti-hazing position.
Bob Sorgi, a freshman materials engineering major, said he did not consider the possibility of hazing when he decided to rush.
"All of them say they don't haze," Sorgi said. This week is about "hanging out" and having fun which is why Sorgi is considering pledging for a fraternity.
According to Interfraternity Council secretary and Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity president Jason Clark, the IFC has been promoting Anti-Hazing Week to their members. "I believe that we have come together to actually discourage hazing, as opposed to just improving our own image. Hazing doesn't build the strong bonds that we value in a brotherhood," the junior psychology major said.
Hazing, defined as a humiliating, abusive, or degrading initiation task, can be associated with fraternities, sororities, or any other type of group or organization. Pennsylvania law dictates that all institutions have a plan for the enforcement of anti-hazing. The law suggests punishment include fines, probation, suspension, dismissal, and termination of the organization at fault.
Drexel fraternities that are part of the Interfraternity Council work to prevent hazing rituals during the pledging period. "As a council, we work tirelessly to prevent activities that can cause lasting damage. We all follow risk management plans that provide preventive measures designed to keep hazing from becoming an issue," Clark said. "Most fraternities will also assign a new member educator, a person in charge of making sure that new members are safely, and appropriately, oriented into the brotherhood."