University observes National Hazing Prevention Week

September 23, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will observe National Hazing Prevention Week from Sept. 24 to 28, hosting various education activities and events in order to raise awareness around the important issue of hazing on college campuses across the country.

Created by HazingPrevention.Org in 2007, The National Hazing Prevention Week is an initiative that focuses on educating university communities by encouraging students to take a stand against hazing.

The week will include education initiatives and resources designed to help students and student groups understand hazing, how to report it and how to prevent it. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) will also be hosting an anti-hazing pledge throughout the week.

The Panhellenic Council is hosting Dr. Lori Hart, advocate for student leaders in the Greek Life community, to present “The Safety Pillar,” which will help educate members on hazing, what to do if experiencing it and how to prevent it as an individual and as a larger community. 

Dr. Gentry McCreary, CEO and Managing Partner of Dyad Strategies, will visit campus on Oct. 3 to speak with fraternity and sorority students and staff around the results of a comprehensive survey Dyad Strategies facilitated and how to shift thinking and processes away from hazing while still gaining desired outcomes of membership in safer ways.

While Penn State feels it is important to increase awareness around hazing during this week, the University has ongoing events and initiatives in place to educate students around the dangers of hazing throughout the year, including:

  • Reframing the New Member Experience: A program where Jim and Evelyn Piazza, parents of Timothy Piazza, spoke to fraternity and sorority chapter presidents, recruitment chairs, new member educators and advisers about the dangers and repercussions of hazing based on their personal experience. As part of the event, students facilitated discussions about how they can make changes within their organizations to eradicate hazing. The Piazzas also talked that day about their hope for changes throughout the Greek-life community during an interview with Penn State President Eric J. Barron for WPSU-TV's "Digging Deeper, which aired on Sunday, Sept. 23.
  • First Semester of Membership Program Reviews: Staff from the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life schedule program reviews each semester with every fraternity and sorority taking new members. These reviews look at how chapters are instituting the programs provided by their inter/national organizations, and their local curriculum and programs.
  • Potential and New Member Education: The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life continues education of potential new members and new members through required programming that all students interested in and joining fraternities and sororities recognized at Penn State must complete before receiving an invitation to membership and being initiated into their organization, respectively.
  • Member Education: The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life is currently designing and will begin piloting a new hazing workshop for active members of fraternities and sororities to educate students on the implications of hazing, discuss the potential outcomes and brainstorm alternatives to hazing practices that ensure a safe experience for all members.

Beyond the scheduled events and ongoing initiatives, the University continues to offer a range of educational resources and individual support throughout the year when it comes to hazing prevention, bystander intervention, alcohol misuse, medical amnesty, sexual assault prevention and other related topics, including:

  • Stand For State: A bystander intervention program, which offers programming on sexual and relationship violence, mental health, bias and risky drinking and drug use.
  • Penn State SAFE: A required, online alcohol education program for first-year students on the effects of alcohol, laws and policies, and medical amnesty.
  • Penn State AWARE: A required sexual assault awareness module on relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment for first-year students.
  • Greeks CAREProgramming for fraternity and sororities members on preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors.
  • Educational initiatives for the Greek community: Required programming for members of the Greek community on such topics as hazing, alcohol, sexual assault and diversity, as part of the chapter accreditation process each academic year.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS provides counseling and psychiatric services to Penn State students, as well as prevention and outreach services to the University community.

In addition to educational programs and support offerings, Penn State provides anonymous recourses for reporting of hazing, which is a violation of Penn State’s code of conduct and Pennsylvania Law.

To report instances of hazing by an individual or within a student organization or group, including fraternities and sororities, contact the Office of Fraternity and Sorority LifeOffice of Student Conduct, or the Penn State Hotline at 1-800-560-1637 or via an anonymous online form. In an emergency, call 911 or contact Penn State Police at 863-1111.

For more information about Hazing Prevention Week, visit HazingPrevention.Org

Last Updated October 04, 2018