Iowa State’s greek community honors National Hazing Prevention Week

National Hazing Prevention Week is Sept. 20 to 25 in the sorority and fraternity community.

National Hazing Prevention Week is Sept. 20 to 25 in the sorority and fraternity community.

Kylee Haueter

From Sept. 20 to 25, greek communities across the nation celebrate National Hazing Prevention Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness, preventing hazing and educating communities about the dangers of hazing.

According to the Hazing Prevention website, the definition of hazing is “any action taken or any situation created intentionally 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 the person’s willingness to participate.”

Hazing is not just limited to greek life but can extend to a variety of different communities and societies in middle schools, high schools and colleges as a form of initiation. 

Police are currently investigating two instances of hazing at Louisiana State University. Cornell University is also currently facing a lawsuit after a freshman was found dead as a result of dangerous hazing. 

In 2019, Sigma Gamma Rho sorority at Iowa State was placed on suspension until May 2021 for hazing. In 2018, the Sigma Chi fraternity was sanctioned for hazing. 

Billy Boulden, assistant dean of students for development and student leadership and director of sorority and fraternity engagement, explained the importance of this week.

“National Hazing Prevention Week is an opportunity for sororities and fraternities to talk about values and why organizations are relevant today,” he said. “When chapters bring folks into the organizations it is important that people can be their authentic self.” 

Boulden also said creating a sense of belonging is the fundamental purpose of sororities and fraternities.  

“Hazing has plagued many different types of organizations over the years and when it creeps into sororities or fraternities it only detracts from the true purpose of sororities and fraternities,” he said.

Boulden said the risk prevention team has been working hard to put this week together.

“I could not be more proud of the work of our risk prevention team who put this together: Jayde Ware, assistant director of sorority and fraternity engagement; Nina Gregory from the National Pan-Hellenic Council; Jack Recker from the Interfraternity Council; Yen Shen Chong from the Multicultural Greek Council and Victoria Tappa from the Collegiate Panhellenic Council,” he said.

The week has special events planned for sorority and fraternity members on each day. Monday, students were encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness. Tuesday night, sorority and fraternity engagement hosted a screening of “Breathe, Nolan, Breathe,” a documentary about the death of a West Virginia University freshman who died as a result of hazing.

Wednesday, students will sign a pledge committing to stand up to hazing. Thursday night, the movie “HAZE” will be shown and Friday, members will commit to their chapters “to not haze or be a bystander.”

Sunday, members of the sorority and fraternity community will attend the 2020 Virtual Risk Symposium.

Instances of hazing can be reported to Iowa State University and to the Iowa State University Police Department.