National Hazing Prevention Week, which took place from Sept. 20 to 24, sparked conversations of what hazing is and looks like, as well as its dangerous and oftentimes fatal effects.
During this year’s NHP week, those who have lost their lives due to hazing incidents were honored and remembered.
Hazing can be defined as a ritual or activity that is expected of someone when they join a group. From requiring certain outfits to engaging in illegal activities, hazing can appear in a variety of forms among college campuses no matter how big or small.
UTC’s Panhellenic Association organizations raised awareness during this year’s National Hazing Prevention Week by having members in the Panhellenic community sign a hazing prevention pledge that promised a myriad of things.
It asked everyone to recognize the harm that hazing can cause both physically and psychologically, condemn the act of hazing on all levels, and to simply be an advocate for anti hazing awareness.
“Hazing has no place in our sisterhood or anywhere on campus,” said Amelia Hinton, member of Chi Omega.
She said that the act of hazing goes against all of the values that fraternities and sororities uphold.
In addition to bullying and peer pressure, hazing is traumatic in a silent way.
Although it is easy to spot hazing or perhaps hear it, it may not be difficult to do hazing practices in secret. That is a crucial part of the hazing prevention pledge — to look out for hazing beyond obvious signs — and to check up on friends who you may think are suffering from it.
Haley Staggs, member of Alpha Delta Pi, said “I believe my sorority advocates immensely for hazing prevention here on campus and within the daily routines of our chapter.”
Staggs said that ever since she became a new member, she has to this day never felt forced to participate in anything risky or harmful, certainly not to any degree of hazing.
Allie Bowen, member of the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta, said that she is strongly against hazing because it singles out new members when they should be welcomed into their new organization with love and joy.
“I think the sororities here do a great job in making sure that hazing has no presence in any shape or form at UTC,” said Bowen. “I also think that keeping these conversations going is a key to anti hazing,” she said.
Although there are only six Panhellenic organizations on campus, the voices of these women combined stand as a very impactful force. From signing hazing prevention pledges to simply being kind to one another, UTC Panhellenic sisters are an example of what it means to stand against hazing.
It is relieving to know that these women are passionate about coming together to be leaders not only for UTC’s campus, but for all colleges and their Greek life organizations.