Tracy Maxwell is the Executive Director of HazingPrevention.org
Despite the fact that there were six hazing-related deaths during the last academic year – five of which involved alcohol and ALL of which occurred in fraternities – some people still defend the practice and extol its virtues. If you are among those people, this blog post is not for you. You can stop reading now.
For those of you who want to do something to end this practice which has no place in organizations that exist to develop leaders, promote community service, and make men better men, here are some ideas:
- Plan a National Hazing Prevention Week observance for your campus or chapter; even if it’s just a discussion or short educational program, it is better than nothing. Start somewhere and build in future years. You can buy copies of the NHPW Resource Guide from the past four years to give you ideas. There are even chapter-level activities in each one.
- Nominate someone you know for an Anti-Hazing Hero Award or submit an essay or photo to our contests for NHPW. You could win a cash prize, and some recognition for your good work.
- Show the documentary HAZE produced by the Gordie Foundation or the DVD Response Ability from BECK & CO, or one of countless other films that deal with hazing, and have a discussion afterward about what you learned.
- Change the hazing culture in your organization or on your campus from within. It is not easy, and it will take some time, but as Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed group of citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
- Attend a program, speaker, discussion or training about hazing on your campus during NHPW or anytime of the year that they are offered.
- Phi Delta is already a sponsor of our work – supporting the Anti-Hazing Hero Awards for three years – but you can ask your school to become a member campus to receive discounts on resources, educational programs and other benefits.
- Do a speech or paper on hazing for a class project or just to share the latest information with your chapter or Greek community.
- Become familiar with the hazing policies/laws for your school, organization and state.
- Join our Facebook group – Supporting Hazing Prevention Follow us on Twitter – PreventHazing or share a personal story about how hazing has impacted you.
- Raise money or donate to HazingPrevention.Org. We are a 501(c)3 organization, so donations are tax-deductible and supporting good work
No matter what you do to observe NHPW this year, DO SOMETHING! Although the deaths are visible and give all fraternities and sororities a bad name, there are many hidden harms of hazing that we don’t see, but which can be just as damaging. There are countless issues in the world that we may feel powerless to impact, but this is one that you have the power to eliminate. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.