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Take a Stand Against Hazing

Across the country, campuses are recognizing National Hazing Prevention Week Sept. 24-28. There are awareness campaigns, professional speakers and a variety of other activities taking place to reaffirm our commitment to living our values.  

As members of a sorority, we know hazing is unacceptable. Of course, none of us joined this organization with the intention or the desire to physically or mentally harm, degrade or humiliate any of our friends or sisters. We joined for friendship, sisterhood, confidence, memories and experiences that would impact us for a lifetime. 

Hazing isn’t just limited to forced drinking or paddles. There are small, more subtle actions that we might consider harmless that can be destructive to our friends as well as our sisterhood. We have taken a hard stand against the obvious hazing. It’s time to take that same stand against all behaviors that cause harm to our sisters. 

There are many ways we may be participating in hazing during regular chapter activities — they may even be disguised as chapter traditions. They can include: 

  • Bullying and mean-girl behavior; 
  • Forcing younger new-member classes to play drinking games; 
  • Pressuring all new members to attend socials with alcohol; 
  • Requiring new members to recite the words to KD songs with punishment if they get them wrong; 
  • Taking new members on a treasure hunt or kidnap, with or without blindfolding; and 
  • Any other action that involves using your power over someone else in a harmful or degrading way.  

It’s important to consider that these behaviors can show up throughout our lives in a variety of places. Hazing can happen on teams, in other organizations or even in the workplace. Regardless of the environment you’re in, be aware of the activities happening around you, and lead the charge on making a change. 

Every activity or interaction we have with another sister, friend or co-worker should be based on mutual respect and a desire to build her confidence. If something doesn’t fit that qualification, it’s time to reassess. This National Hazing Prevention Week, do your part to stand up against hazing by calling out any type of bullying behavior and by setting a positive example of confidence, sisterhood and respect. 

To learn more about the similarities and differences in bullying and hazing, and why neither are acceptable, check out this post from HazingPrevention.Org 

Be sure to look for the #NHPW18 activities happening on your campus! You can also take the pledge against hazing here.

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