Sep 192011
 
Authors: Sarah Fenton

While many call it a rite of passage, and some call it ritual, CSU Greek life recognizes hazing as something much more dangerous.

As a part of National Hazing Prevention week, CSU Greek life has scheduled events over the next seven days to promote hazing prevention. These events are aimed at both Greek life members and the CSU campus in general.

According to Tracy Maxwell, Executive Director of http://hazingprevention.org and founder of National Hazing Prevention week, hazing is a concern for everyone, not just people who participate in it.

“The impact of these problems is bigger than we can imagine on individuals in our society,” Maxwell said.

Tactics of hazing often include actions that target physical health such as exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and excessive alcohol consumption. Maxwell believes that the emotional damage common with hazing is much more detrimental, however.

Maxwell’s website publishes a 70-page resource guide to help prevention advocates launch their own prevention week. As extensive as this guide is, it emphasizes the importance of tailoring events to the individual community.

Greek Life officials have taken this advice seriously and have made National Hazing Prevention week to fit CSU.

“National Hazing Prevention week is trying to explain the grey areas where people don’t understand why ‘this’ is considered hazing,” said Sheila Losinski, the vice president of risk management for the Panhellenic Council.

Even though CSU has a fairly clean hazing track record, it is not flawless. In 2009, the Zeta Phi Beta sorority was expelled from CSU for allegations of extreme hazing abuse and academic dishonesty. Some other tactics were reported to resemble torture, including sleep deprivation, food deprivation and strenuous physical activity that required medical attention.

At CSU, events during prevention week will range from a panel discussion with Student Legal Services and code of conduct representatives to flyer distribution on the plaza. The week will conclude with a speaker next Monday night who will be discussing the legal consequences of being charged with hazing.

“We will be doing other awareness promotional points where people will wear buttons to promote awareness all throughout the week, and then in addition to handing out flyers, there will also be a large banner for people to sign to pledge to end hazing,” Losinski said.

Each CSU Greek life fraternity and sorority is required to sign a hazing policy compliance form that requires them to adhere to the no hazing policy at CSU. Still, Losinski sees a range of misconceptions that follow Greek life concerning hazing.

In the few weeks after Rush, pledges go through orientation and new member education, but Losinski reports that this process has nothing to do with hazing.

According to Losinski’s counter part, Adam Hammeke, a senior construction management major and member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, pledge rituals must meet certain criteria to make it onto the pledge agenda.

“With our chapter, if the pledge process doesn’t serve a purpose in your education to become a better member, then it’s not a part of the process,” Hammeke said.

Collegian Writer Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

By the numbers

47
percent of students come to college already having experienced hazing.

55

percent of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

40

percent of athletes who reported being involved in hazing behaviors report that a coach or advisor was aware of the activity; 22 percent report that the coach was involved.

95

percent of cases where students identified their experience as hazing, but did not report the events to campus officials.

82

percent of deaths from hazing involve alcohol.

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