Hazing is frequently perpetuated by the idea of “tradition”. Groups often say “we’ve always done this” or “I/We had to do it, so you/they have to do it”. Changing those traditions and stopping those cycles can seem daunting, if not impossible. It can be difficult work, but it is the right thing to do if you want to ensure a healthy, safe, responsible and supportive experience for your friends.
The first thing you can do is honestly consider the activities your group engages in and determine if they constitute hazing.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Would I be willing to describe the activity to my parents, grandparents, professors, advisors or police?
- Would I be concerned if a video of this activity were to be made public?
- Do I harbor ill will about having to participate in this activity in the past?
- If I asked a more senior member in the group to do this, would they?
- Have we had to determine a detailed communication plan to make sure everyone stays safe during this activity?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, there is a good chance you are hazing your members.
Campus Trainings and Resources:
While it may not always seem obvious, much of what you learn in a number of other campus trainings is pertinent to your ability to recognize and intervene with issues of hazing. Participating in any of the following will improve skills associated with making these tough decisions:
- Schedule a PAVE workshop for your organization.
- Participate in iCare training to learn how to support peers in distress.
- Complete SAVA training to learn how to identify and intervene on issues of personal and sexual violence.
Start Talking About Hazing:
- Visit the Clery Center’s We Don’t Haze resource, view the video and facilitate the accompanying discussion prompts.
- Watch the University’s “Rethink Hazing” video and facilitate a conversation within your organization.
- Have an honest conversation among your group leadership about your group’s traditions. Consider their purpose and objectively discuss the value they add to your organization.
- Reach out to your student group advisor, coach of your team, or the Office of Student Affairs to discuss ways to create new and exciting ways to engage and welcome your new members.