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UT Greek Organizations Promote Anti-Hazing Policy Through National Hazing Prevention Week

Monday begins this year’s National Hazing Prevention Week.

Lasting until Sept. 24, the event is aimed at simultaneously decreasing hazing activities while increasing awareness about what exactly constitutes hazing.

NHPW (National Hazing Prevention Website) defines hazing as, “Any action taken or situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule… risks emotional and/or physical harm… regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”

According to Florida law, hazing can be a third degree felony if someone gets injured and a first degree misdemeanor if there’s substantial risk for injury.

Keep in mind, these charges stick, even if you have the person’s consent to haze them.

Suddenly forcing someone to do push-ups while dressed like a ballerina doesn’t seem so awesome, does it?

UT is anti-hazing and is working with Greek life to send a strong anti-hazing message this year.

Not sure if your plans to “initiate” the incoming freshmen in your dorm are kosher? Ask yourself these questions supplied by http://www.hazingprevention.org:

Am I being asked to keep these activities a secret?

Would we get in trouble if the Dean of Students walked by?

Is this causing emotional distress or stress of any kind to myself or others?

Remember, the only difference between bullying and hazing is that bulling can happen at anytime to any individual, while hazing is done to a person or a group of people for initiation to a community or group.

Unless you want to be like that kid you hated in third grade who would pull your pants down and who you always fantasized about punching in the face, and unless you want to risk serious consequences, hazing might not be a good idea.

Hillary and Lauren, two consultants from Kappa Alpha Theta agreed that hazing is, “Not a good way to get respect. You should lead by example.”

Both women hope that UT’s strong position on anti-hazing will encourage more freshmen to pledge.

Michael, a junior in the Phi Mu Alpha fraternity said, “Pledging is building a brotherhood. Promoting hazing sets up future generations for failure, instead of encouraging the right values.”

Michael also believed this might cause more freshmen to join Greek life. “With rushing being safer and a campus-wide policy against hazing, everyone will be more comfortable with the idea of pledging.”

Audrey, a freshman at UT agreed that she was more likely to join a sorority knowing that there was a strict no-hazing policy in place.

Phi Mu Alpha’s president, a senior by the name of Dave Smith, had this to say when asked for his thoughts on hazing: “Not good.”

With an eloquence that Greek orators going back to Socrates himself would appreciate, PMA’s president summed it up perfectly.

Another way to put the idea might be, “Don’t do it.”

Interested in finding out more? On Tuesday the Delta Sigma Theta sorority will be in Vaughn Center from 2:30-5 p.m. There will be brochures, buttons and t-shirts designed by the Tau Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

Ask the students there about what other activities they have going on in the week.

Everything from a trust course to a movie have been included in the weeks events, and with the promise of a free t-shirt, what college kid could possibly turn that down?

To quote one of the t-shirts that Tau Iota designed, “Don’t stop it, prevent it!”

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