National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) is held annually from Sept. 20-25 and is meant to raise awareness about the dangers of hazing and teach communities how to stop it.
The Center for Fraternity & Sorority Development (CFSD) at UConn takes part in this initiative to provide students with the necessary skills to be able to recognize different hazing practices and help stop them from occurring on campus. Though the event load is lighter this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the center is displaying their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on hazing through virtual events and initiatives.
“The Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development licenses a hazing prevention training that can be completed at any time throughout the year, not just during National Hazing Prevention Week,” Jamel Catoe, Director of the CFSD at UConn, said. “And we invite all members of our campus community to participate.”
To kick off the week, fraternity and sorority members were asked to attend a program called “Love Mom + Dad: Turning Tragedy Into Progress” which took place virtually on Sunday. This nationwide presentation, hosted by the Anti-Hazing Coalition (AHC), featured the parents of students who lost their lives due to hazing. These families have turned their loss into an important lesson in creating awareness about the dangers of hazing.
The AHC is a collaboration between the National Panhellenic Conference, the North American Interfraternity Conference and parents whose children were killed by acts of hazing. The AHC’s mission is to eradicate hazing and strengthen criminal and civil penalties for acts of hazing.
Hazing is a common action associated with clubs, teams and organizations, especially Greek life communities, and has garnered national attention for the frequent reports of serious injuries and death that have resulted from hazing practices.
A study conducted by Stop Hazing found that three out of five college students are subjected to hazing. This can include a wide range of practices, some of the more common being humiliation, isolation, sleep-deprivation and alcohol consumption.
Many students are willing to participate in hazing activities because of the perception that it creates a strong group camaraderie and a sense of self-accomplishment, but in reality, hazing is a high-risk activity that can lead to life-threatening consequences.
Being an active participant in the fight against hazing can help stop it before it occurs. Taking the National Hazing Prevention Pledge is a way to hold yourself accountable and empower others in your community to do the same. By recognizing the harm that hazing can cause on an individual’s physical and psychological health, you can become an advocate for the prevention of hazing in the future.
“Hazing education and prevention is so incredibly important to all members of the Panhellenic Council because it helps us to better support and protect one another through our sisterhood,” Zoe Butchen, a fifth-semester organizational dynamics and leadership individualized major and President of the UConn Panhellenic Council, said. “It is our responsibility to take a stand toward better informing ourselves and our peers and listening to people’s stories.”
If you are interested in learning more about how the UConn Greek life community is leading the fight against hazing, visit the CFSD website for more information.