Greek life hosts Hazing Prevention Week
IFC, Panhellenic Council and administration educate community
The Tulane Division of Student Affairs is currently hosting Hazing Prevention Week, an effort consisting of a series of informative videos and guest speakers aimed at educating all of Tulane’s organizations and emphasizing the administration’s zero-tolerance policy toward hazing. The week is timed to keep Greek Life’s newly admitted members informed about campus hazing policy.
In addition to information sessions for new Greek members and showings of the feature documentary “Haze,” guest speaker Erle Morring will present his lecture “Hazed and Confused” Feb. 2.
Liz Schafer, director of fraternity and sorority programs, said the current series on hazing prevention is essential for highlighting the risks and shortcomings of hazing practices.
“Our main goals of the week are to emphasize both the dangers and the ineffectiveness of hazing,” Schafer said. “Defining what actually constitutes hazing can be difficult, but the bottom line is that anything that makes a new member uncomfortable, causes him or her embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or risks emotional or physical harm, constitutes hazing. It also includes anything that current members are unwilling to do themselves.”
President of the Interfraternity Council Taylor Conrad said one of the biggest goals of hazing prevention week is to show new members the channels of communication in voicing concerns or discomforts with pledging processes.
“It’s important that new members understand that there are ways to anonymously report incidents,” Conrad said.
He also said that efforts to increase communication between students pledging Greek institutions and the Tulane administration were emphasized following the hazing incidents with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in 2008.
“Opportunities to report incidents have definitely increased, and the administration is more aware of what’s going on in the pledging process,” Conrad said.
Schafer said that while the administration trusts the good intentions of most Greek members, educational opportunities are vital to ensuring correct judgments in unstable environments.
“We in the administration trust that the great majority of our fraternity and sorority students want to do the right thing,” Schafer said. “But in large groups with alcohol involved, judgment can get skewed. We want to have as many educational opportunities as we can so that when students find themselves in questionable situations, they have the tools they need to prevent hazing.”
While hazing prevention week aims to promote awareness of unacceptable pledging practices, President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Greg Miller said the events are not as effective as they should be in educating current Greek members.
“I think these events can be helpful, but they aren’t as effective as they should be,” Miller said. “In the past, the series has especially fallen short of communicating with older members of fraternities.”
Erle Morring’s upcoming presentation is a deviation from previous lectures on hazing prevention. Miller said he is interested in seeing how this year’s guest differs from past guests.
“The past two years they have had the same person come in and talk to us,” Miller said. “I am interested to see how this year’s speech differs from others and whether it is more valuable.”