By Alyssa Weston
Tables were set up in Kilcawley Center early this week to spread awareness of a national movement, “These Hands Don’t Haze,” where students trace their hands on a poster to signify that they are against hazing.
“These Hands Don’t Haze” was part of an initiative spearheaded by Greek life at Youngstown State University to honor National Hazing Prevention Week. The goal is to shed light on what hazing is and how to prevent it.
Ally Cooper, a junior political science major and co-chair of Greek Campus Life, said hazing can occur not only in Greek life but in clubs, teams and organizations across the nation.
“Greek life at YSU is getting involved by sponsoring a campuswide National Hazing Prevention Week where we’ve had tabling,” she said. “And there’s a Sacred Purpose event held by one of our fraternities, Theta Chi, Thursday [Sept. 26], where a speaker will come and talk to us about how we can prevent hazing and how we can increase our brotherhood and sisterhood.”
Howard Hale, a senior physics and astronomy major and co-chair of Greek Campus Life, said YSU has “good rules set in place” to prevent hazing on campus.
“[Greek life makes] it aware to any student that wants to get involved in Greek life that if you feel like at any time you are being hazed … let anybody know. Pretty much any faculty,” he said. They have a no-tolerance policy. So, it’s just immediately shut down before it even begins.”
Frank Viera, a senior religious students major and interfraternity risk manager, was in charge of planning for “These Hands Don’t Haze” at YSU along with Jordan Dickey, a junior nursing major and vice president of chapter development.
According to Viera, “These Hands Don’t Haze” is a national movement to take a stance against hazing. He said he believes hazing awareness is important to erase the stigma.
“A lot of people just think it’s kind of ingrained in our culture and that if you want to join a Greek organization that you have to do it when that’s really not the case,” he said.
Dickey said she encourages students to talk to her and other Greek life members on campus to ask questions about hazing because they know the facts.
“We’re not like the news. We’re not like the movies. We actually, as a whole, don’t haze at all. It’s a visual to teach students to join Greek life, join other organizations and say, ‘That’s something we aren’t part of,’” she said.
According to Cooper, other students had the opportunity to get involved in National Hazing Prevention Week by signing an anti-hazing pledge.
“[Students] can just take an overall stance to prevent hazing because we don’t want that otherwise,” she said.
Students can sign the national pledge against hazing on www.hazingprevention.org.