Unity, the result of many parts becoming a whole, and loyalty, the faithfulness and commitment to the sisterhood and the organization, are parts of anyone's dream fraternity life experience. These characteristics are the foundation of any sisterhood, and are traits that we hope are fostered within all of our members whether they be new, collegiate, or alumnae. But how do we cultivate these qualities? How do we encourage our sisters to remember to be loyal to the organization and unite together in sisterhood? Tell us in the comment box to the right of this blog!
Unfortunately, these beautiful qualities of sisterhood found in fraternal organizations are sometimes used as justifications for behaviors found far outside the values they represent; behaviors like hazing.
"Hazing" is a term that can come about in many contexts, groups, and situations, and often has a less than clear definition. HazingPrevention.Org, an incredible resource for hazing information, offers us this great definition:
Any action taken or situation created intentionally
- that causes embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule
- risks emotional and/or physical harm
- to members of a group or team
- whether new or not
- regardless of the person's willingness to participate
While incidences of hazing do exist on our college campuses (55% of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing), fraternity houses and the collegiate locker rooms are not the only places where hazing happens. Frequencies of hazing in middle schools and high schools are increasing at a rapid rate (48% of high school students have experienced some sort of hazing through involvement in sports teams, social clubs/gangs, musical groups, and church groups). Most frightening of all, however, is how few people know that they're actually being hazed; nine out of ten college students who have experienced hazing behavior in college do not consider themselves to have been hazed.
In honor of National Hazing Prevention Week, International Headquarters wants to make sure we are all aware of the dangers of hazing, and ask all of you to help become part of the solution! How? Well first and foremost, become a part of the conversation! We can all spread awareness and change the hazing culture by working to build unity and loyalty in our members and organizations in healthy and meaningful ways!
To our collegians: You can work with your sisters, your fraternal brothers, advisors, Greek Life directors, and other campus professionals to plan an event to raise hazing awareness.
To all of our alumnae: Utilizing your networks of sisters, colleagues, neighbors, families and friends to help spread the word about this issue that truly does touch us all is incredibly helpful!
These events or conversations can be large company-wide or campus-wide programs, a discussion amongst Greek student leadership on campus about what hazing is, or an educational meeting for parents in your area with children in middle and high school. You can also enter in the National Hazing Prevention Week Contests, or honor an Anti-Hazing Hero. Even sharing this blog and attached resources with your sisters, colleagues, families and friends could be a step in eradicating hazing in your community!
For those of you passionate about learning more about hazing and helping stop this damaging behavior also consider attending the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention. This unique four-day experience brings together individuals from a variety of experiences to have a collaborative, solutions-driving conversation about how to end hazing.
Above all else, every Alpha Gam can battle hazing by striving to develop relationships with her sisters of all ages in healthy, loving, and respectful ways. Let's work together to set an example for other members of the Greek, campus, professional, and global communities in how to build true unity and loyalty by living with purpose!
Click here to review the Alpha Gamma Delta Hazing Affidavit or the hazing statutes.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about hazing
or potential hazing behaviors, do not remain silent! Contact your chapter advisors, or Greek Life professionals on your campus. You may also contact Abbie Schneider, Director of Fraternity Services for the Fraternity, or call the National Anti-Hazing toll-free hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).