On campuses across the country, hazing is a pervasive threat looming within various student organizations. For National Hazing Prevention Week, Southeastern will actively promote and participate in discussions to facilitate awareness and prevention of hazing.
Tonight, Southeastern will host former Dillard University president and hazing expert Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough. Kimbrough is now acting executive director of the Black Men’s Research Institute at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
The event will take place in the Student Union Ballroom at 6 p.m. In addition to tonight’s event, there will be drop-off events throughout the week in order to continue to spread hazing information to the student body.
“Hazing is anything that could be used as a method or means to make someone else feel uncomfortable,” said William Takewell, acting assistant director of fraternity and sorority life at the Student Office. of the South-East commitment. “Lack of care is how it manifests itself on campuses and organizations. We say to ourselves, ‘They don’t belong or deserve status, they have to prove it first.’ »
Hazing occurs when current members of a club or organization use the promise of new membership as a way to entertain themselves by forcing new members to participate in potentially harmful and humiliating activities.
Lack of care, as Takewell says, is a common occurrence in American colleges and universities. According StopHazing.org, a research institute dedicated to promoting safe and hazing-free schools and organizations, 55% of students engaged in extracurricular activities report having experienced hazing. On an organizational basis, the percentages range from 20% for activities such as honor societies to 73-74% for activities such as Greek life or college sports, according to one study on hazing conducted by the University of Maryland.
Hazing can take many forms, but is usually practiced with the consumption of alcohol, with new members being forced to drink a lot in a short time. According to UM, 82% of hazing deaths were alcohol-related, including the death of 18-year-old Louisiana State University student Max Gruver in September 2017.
Hazing allegations involving the branding, physical assault and sexual abuse of female athletes have also surfaced within the NCAA. Such behavior is typical of hazing and can only be eradicated if officials and students work together to quell these harmful practices.
Luckily for Southeastern, tackling potential instances of on-campus hazing is a primary focus of the Office of Student Engagement and the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability, as they work closely with student leaders to help them recognize the signs of hazing within their organizations.
According to Takewell, “We want to normalize hazing conversations and differentiate between what can and cannot be done, including registering events with new members, tracking organizations when the potential for hazing might arise during events. and how to report them when they occur.
The Dean of Students hazing policy outlines specific hazing regulations both on campus and statewide, including Louisiana’s Revised Statute 14:40:8, which criminalizes the act of hazing, making the act punishable by fine of up to one thousand dollars, [imprisonment] up to six months, or both. The plan also lists organizations to connect with to report hazing, such as the University Police Department and University Housing, as well as an anonymous reporting system to the University of Louisiana system for journalists who wish to keep their hidden identity.
As another week of hazing kicks off on Southeast Campus, it’s crucial that students and administrators be proactive about hazing so they have the knowledge and skills to watch out for their fellow Lions.
“Especially on such a small and intimate campus,” Takewell said, “we should be able to take care of each other.”
For more information on events happening during the week, contact the Office of Student Engagement.