This past week—Sept 24-28— the University participated in National Hazing Prevention Week, promoting awareness and working to end the act of hazing.
The week was organized by the University chapter of Theta Phi Alpha.
Leaders of Greek fraternities and sororities were required to sign a pledge to work to stop hazing in their organizations, as well as attend a lecture entitled “Hazing: A Revealing Look at Hidden Rights,” featuring Dr. Timothy C. Marchell.
Mark Gunza, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said in the beginning of the year Greek leaders also had to attend a conference which centered heavily around anti-hazing efforts.
Gunza said the events of the week, most especially the lecture, brought back memories of hazing on campus that have occurred in the past.
“We have had issues with hazing with fraternities that are no longer on campus,” he said. “Seeing that along with the other situations brought up in the lectures really let the gravity of what can happen when pledging goes wrong sink in.”
During the lecture, Marchell showed various explicit photos of people who had to go through hazing, such as a man washing cars in a Speedo in the middle of December and a student forced to drink large amounts of milk and water in a short amount of time, which Marchell explained causes a chemical imbalance in the body.
Marchell explained that the reason why most people go through the process of hazing, is because they feel a need to be accepted by their peers.
“As individuals we all have a sense that we need achievement in our lives,” he said. “We need to be accepted by others. And most of this acceptance will come by groups.”
Gunza said he felt the lecture not only affected himself, but the other members in the audience as well.
“I think the speaker opened the eyes of my brothers” he said. “I’m sure it had the same effect on the members of other fraternities as well.”
Gunza went on to say he felt the Greek community was a positive force on campus, and thought the many positive aspects of Greek life does not receive the attention the bad instances do.
“Joining TKE and being a part of the Greek Community was the best decision I have ever made and we do a lot of great things for the school,” he said. “Although there is no excuse for hazing, it’s a shame that all the good gets overshadowed by the bad.”