NACA BLOG - Expanding Hazing Prevention Efforts - 9/6/2022

September 6, 2022hazing prevention.png

Expanding Hazing Prevention Efforts
Leah Eickhoff
NACA Education & Research Coordinator

It's Not Just a Fraternity Thing...
...or a sorority thing.
...or an athletics thing.
Hazing prevention work is an everyone thing.

The 15th annual National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) will take place from September 19-23, 2022. The theme of this year's NHPW is Stronger Together, which is incredibly poignant for NACA members as, together, we must work to create strong communities where everyone belongs. This sense of belonging can only occur when members of any community are welcomed and included in a manner that is healthy, respectful, and humane. Hazing plays no role in developing a sense of belonging. 

A very common definition of hazing in higher education states, "Hazing is any action taken or any situation created that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of a person's willingness to participate." According to research conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Allen and Dr. Mary Madden, 55% of college students involved in clubs, organizations, or teams have experienced hazing (Allen and Madden, March 11, 2008). In addition, 47% of students have experienced hazing before arriving at college. 

For many reasons, campus communities direct anti-hazing education and resources to specific populations such as fraternities, sororities, and athletic teams. On many campuses, National Hazing Prevention Week programming will fall to the staff persons responsible for fraternity and sorority life or athletics. This allocation of responsibilities risks sending a false message that hazing only exists in those groups or organizations. We must acknowledge that hazing can (and does) occur within all types of student organizations. All students, staff, and advisors can benefit from hazing prevention and bystander intervention education. 

Ideas for expanding hazing prevention efforts on your campus:

  • Partner with fraternity/sorority life and athletics staff and students in the planning of National Hazing Prevention Week.
  • Include hazing education in all student organization trainings and onboardings for advisors and officers.
  • Talk with student leaders about how they welcome new members into organizations and create a sense of belonging throughout their involvement.
  • Learn the warning signs often found in hazing cultures.
  • Research anti-hazing laws for your state. If your state does not have any anti-hazing laws, explore if any legislation has been introduced.
  • Seek out professional development on the topic of hazing prevention and bystander intervention.
  • Start a dialogue about hazing prevention on NACA Connect to brainstorm with and learn from other NACA colleagues.

We encourage all NACA members to explore the following hazing prevention resources:

Leah Eickhoff is the education and research coordinator at the National Association for Campus Activities. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, she is passionate about creating experiences where students and professionals can learn and grow.

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