By Sarah Alderman, Beta Iota Chapter ’10, Assistant Director of Member Services
Today marks the end to National Hazing Prevention Week 2012, but we are just getting started here at Phi Sigma Pi with efforts to raise awareness on hazing prevention. At this point you’ve hopefully signed the Hazing Prevention Pledge, read articles on past hazing incidents, and caught up on the latest stats about hazing via Facebook or Twitter. But the big question now is…”what can my Chapter do on the local level to prevent hazing?” There are many answers to this question, but two big takeaways from NHPW2012 are:
1) Hazing preventions starts with you, a Brother of Phi Sigma Pi, who is willing to challenge out-of-date traditions and practices that are not establishing meaningful connections between Brothers and Initiates and
2) Work on establishing hazing prevention as a 24/7/365 effort
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “how can I challenge my Brothers to stop a questionable tradition if the majority of the Chapter supports the practice?” The number one thing you can do is speak up about your concerns. Reach out to your Chapter leadership, contact Alumni, or call the National Office to speak with your Region Consultant. As Will Keim, Ph.D. put it, “If you have to ask if it’s hazing, it is. If in doubt, call your advisor, coach, or national office. If you won’t pick up the phone, you have your answer. Don’t B.S. yourself…” After speaking up about your concern, you might discover that other Brothers in your Chapter have the same feelings. Use this as an opportunity to evaluate your Initiation Program to see what practices are stressful and demanding and start brainstorming new events that will build stronger Brothers. Some event ideas your Chapter can implement are listed below and a full list can be found at 101 Alternatives to Hazing on the National website Toolbox.
- Host a certified instructor to administer the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Inventory
- Write a letter to the Phi Sigma Pi Founders stating your thoughts on the organization. Discuss goals, aspirations, thoughts, and hopes for continued development and make a copy for yourself
- Sponsor a speaker from the University career development/planning center
- Host an etiquette dinner for Brothers and Initiates to attend
There are many options for new programming events, so I challenge all Chapters of Phi Sigma Pi to plan and execute at least one new event from the 101 Alternatives to Hazing list this academic year!
And now the moment you have all been waiting for, the winner of the National Hazing Prevention Week Challenge #1 is…the Alpha Xi Chapter of Radford University who invited a crime prevention specialist to come in and speak on hazing prevention to all Brothers and the new Initiate Class! Congratulations!
And remember, 24/7/365 hazing prevention begins with you!