During the week of Sept. 20, Rollins, for the first time ever, brought us National Hazing Prevention Week. The topic of hazing has been in the national conversation for the past few years, especially after 2004 when University of Colorado student Gordie Bailey died from a hazing incident involving alcohol. Hazing has traditionally been associated with fraternity and sorority life, but in reality it can affect high schools, sports teams and other school organizations.
National Hazing Prevention Week started in the early 2000s and it has become a norm across the country. Cynthia Rose, assistant director of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL), commented, “Rollins needed to pick up on that norm. I’ve seen the week on a lot of campuses and it’s a really powerful tool to bring people together.” OSIL, Panhellenic and the Intrafraternal Council (IFC) worked very hard to bring the week to campus and make sure it was a successful, inclusive event. They wanted to take a stand against hazing through every aspect of the Rollins campus and to encourage all students to help stand up as well.
Panhellenic Public Relations Chair Kelly Strandberg ’12 stated, “Having National Hazing Prevention Week at Rollins sends a clear message that that type of behavior is not acceptable here, and it really brings awareness to the whole student body about a huge issue.” The week here at Rollins consisted of a banner contest between each fraternity and sorority related to anti-hazing, as well as tabling and free t-shirts and bands to wear on Unity Day. A discussion surrounding the film Haze took place Monday with representatives of every fraternity and sorority on campus in attendance. An anti-hazing pledge form, which many Rollins community members signed, was available throughout the week.
Haze is a documentary that discusses hazing and how to stop and prevent it. It depicts a group of friends who let their classmate go to bed drunk one night. When they return to check on him, he has passed away in his sleep. This chilling but unfortunately all-to-real example is a clear message on why an Anti-Hazing Prevention week is necessary across the nation.
IFC President Walker Holloway ’11, stated, “The event on Monday was extremely helpful. We all had a feeling we were just going to watch a movie and leave; however our FSL [Fraternity and Sorority Life] staff changed the plans and let us have an open discussion about hazing, and prevention of hazing. Our FSL team is extremely knowledgeable and really got everyone on the same page on the issue of hazing.”
The winners of the banner contest were Sigma Gamma Rho for “Most Creative,” Non Compis Mentis for “Most Informative,” and Chi Omega for “Best Overall.” OSIL will be bringing the week to campus again next year, and is planning to partner with even more organizations and departments across the campus. For more information, visit OSIL’s website at www.rollins.edu/osil.