According to a 2008 University of Maine study, 55 percent of students who join fraternities, sororities, sports teams or another student groups experience some form of hazing.
Last week, CSU Greek Life did its part to lower this statistic during National Hazing Prevention Week.
In previous years, Greek Life has celebrated the week-long event by inviting speakers and holding large events, but they have found that people don’t take it as seriously because of busy schedules, according to Caitlin Still, a member of Tri Delta sorority.
Though the Greek community didn’t hold large events this year, many fraternities and sororities made sure that members in the chapters know what hazing is and how to prevent it.
“We teach about what hazing is and especially things that you don’t realize are hazing,” Still said. “… It is important to know what it is.”
Two weeks ago, Greek Life passed out ribbons that say “Real Rams Don’t Haze” to any sororities and fraternities that wanted them. The ribbons, according to Tri Delta member Sydney Thompson, were meant to get the word out that it is important for all CSU community members to not haze.
Hazing prevention was important for Greek Life this year, in light of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority hazing allegations. In the fall of 2011, the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority was suspended from recruiting new members until spring of 2013 because of hazing.
“What happened last year was a long standing problem, and is something that has been addressed so that it doesn’t happen again,” Still said. “It has been solved internally, fixed for members and the community and dealt with. We are moving forward because it isn’t good to dwell on the past. In order to grow and learn, we must move forward.”
According to the National Hazing Prevention Week website, the intention of a hazing prevention week is to diminish society’s tolerance of hazing and inspire everyone’s belief in their own ability to prevent and stand up to hazing.
“I think this is a very important week to advocate because it is a common stereotype of Greek life,” Thompson said, a member of the Tri Delta sorority. “Especially at CSU, we are very against hazing and more focused on friendships and academics and giving back with our philanthropies. [National Hazing Prevention week] is something to continue absolutely until hazing isn’t a problem and innocent kids aren’t getting hurt or killed.”
For next semester’s Hazing Prevention weeks, Greek Life is hoping to have larger programs planned and to get new pledges involved. According to Still, they want to do something different in order to get the word out about hazing prevention.
“We are going in a good direction, and I would love to see that continue,” Still said. “It is important to have hazing prevention weeks because it is something to nationally prevent in Greek communities. This way we can hold a higher standard for ourselves in the Greek, as well as CSU, community.”
Collegian Writer Taylor Pettaway can be reached at email@example.com.