By Michaela Cleveland, Staff Writer
Published in print Oct. 1, 2014
Since 2007, National Hazing Prevention Week has been in existence working to inform, advocate and put an end to hazing on college campuses throughout the country.
For the past three years, UNCG has participated in the week on campus. “National Hazing Prevention Week has been at this school observed at UNCG for a while,” said Brett Carter, Dean of Students. “We wanted to take a stand and let people know that our university doesn’t condone hazing and our student organizations are in support of this.”
The week ran through Monday, September 22 through Friday, September 26. Various different anti-hazing programs and events ran throughout this time including “Straight Talk”, an informational program about hazing in organized groups, a viewing of the movie, “The Neighbors” followed by an audience discussion and an anti-hazing presentation held by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
“We had always been coined as the Fraternity that usually partakes in hazing and we wanted to dispel that stereotype,” said Ryan Mitchell, President of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Mitchell said,“ I feel like it was very beneficial especially to the chapter’s image on campus. We wanted to make sure that it was understood that we don’t partake, nor do we condone hazing in our chapter as well as our organization.”
The presentation held by Omega Psi Phi focused on the dangers of hazing in student groups at universities. It highlighted specific groups such as marching bands, athletic groups and Greek letter organizations on college campuses for being groups where hazing typically occur.
Mitchell aims to combat this stereotype for his organization as well as other student groups at UNCG.
“I’ve been in a fraternity for all most two years and what I’ve learned is no matter what we do, no matter how many programs we put on, no matter how approachable we make ourselves, hazing will always be associated with it. Of course some of it is because of ignorance, but it is also about the patterns some of the chapters and groups set for themselves. Groups that we know have taken part in that and it creates a bad experience for the rest of us because one bad apple always soils the bunch,” said Mitchell.
In addition to the various programs held on campus, National Hazing Prevention Week included the “Spartans Stand Strong” pledge.
Students would sign this pledge stating that they would uphold and abide by the hazing policy at UNCG as well as report anyone they suspect of wrongdoing within the confines of hazing.
“ ‘Spartans Against Hazing’ was transformed into ‘Spartans Stand Strong’ in order to show campus unity on this topic,” said Carter.
“We had students sign the pledge and we gave out ‘Spartans Stand Strong’ wristbands for people to wear. We’ve seen a lot of feedback from students during this week from them using the hashtag, ‘Spartans Stand Strong’ on Twitter and Instagram to students wearing the wristbands around campus. Basically, this week is all about taking accountability for your actions and conducting themselves in an appropriate way.”