Let’s get serious – and let’s stay serious about hazing. For years hazing has been a topic that was linked mostly to fraternal groups. No longer. From severe bullying incidents that have led to military brutality and the death of a college band member, we have finally started to recognize as a culture that all types of societal hazing will no longer be tolerated.
In a world where our youth is so easily connected through social media, we have seen our words and actions acted out – and acted upon – in global ways. Never before has the adage – think before you speak (or now think before you tweet) – been so important. Words can cause physical hurt and damage. Once put into play in social media, they can easily send a shock wave through a large population or dramatically wound a single heart.
The women of the National Panhellenic Conference, by mentoring and networking through small and large groups of women, know that hazing is often errantly linked to ritual and tradition. Groups are often blamed when only individuals are to blame. Each member group of the NPC family has policies against hazing. Each has disciplinary procedures to follow.
The last week of September is set aside each year to remind us that hazing is “everyone’s problem, everyone’s responsibility.” There are vast online resources for both students, parents and families to set the record straight on behavior that is not acceptable – and you can also report college hazing incidents anonymously to the Anti-Hazing Hotline at 1-888-668-4293, which translated to 1-888-NOT-HAZE.
If you don’t know, ask.
If you believe someone is at risk, report.
If you wish to engage in the conversation this fall as students return to their campuses, tell us. If you have a program you’d like to share, talk about it – and let us know what progress you’ve made in your college community.
There are plenty of people doing something about hazing and offering free and affordable programming to alter risky behaviors, including NPC’s own “Something of Value” program, courses offered by the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention, and webinars from HazingPrevention.org supported by sororities and fraternities.
Join the conversation and do what’s right.
Hazing Prevention Week is September 24 to September 28.