By Atiba Rogers
For National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW), there were posters hanging on the bulletins of Stony Brook University to show the campus community’s support.
This national awareness week has been observed every year on Sept. 23 through 27 since 2007, and the college speaker’s agency CAMPUSPEAK Chief Executive Officer Tracy Maxwell took the first step to organize and launch HazingPrevention.Org.
The NHPW Info Fair was held last Wednesday during campus lifetime, followed by a NHPW program focusing on the prevention of hazing from 7 to 11 p.m. The events helped raise awareness for students on campus.
Hazing is a traditional practice for some Greek fraternities and sororities where students can be mentally and/or physically abused. Pledgees can either choose to agree to their hazing or say no and walk away. According to HazingPrevention.Org, 55 percent of college students involved in a club, organization or team are hazed, yet nine out of 10 students victim to hazing do not consider themselves being hazed.
One of the downloadable posters from HazingPrevention.Org read, “Punished. They said that it was a tradition that all brothers had gone through.”
“We’re pretty big on not hazing, we always advocate against hazing. When people ask us about it we always tell them what it is,” said Nora Boujida, a senior sociology major and political science minor of alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc.
Students aren’t losing anything if they decline what is requested of them. “Making someone do anything that they don’t want to do or telling someone that they need to do something in order to join our organization” is Boujida’s definition of hazing.
Boujida attended the NPHW Info Fair to support the cause, with members of her sorority standing by her side. She’s a part of one of the many Greek organizations on campus that do not condone hazing students.
According to Boujida, alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc. usually attends events promoting anti-hazing.
“We don’t go out of our way to do it but we stress that we’re not a hazing sorority,” Boujida said.
Not everyone knows about the dangers of hazing and its consequences besides being someone’s “brother” or “sister.” And some, like Vlad Moraru, a freshman biology major, don’t even know that there’s a week to observe it.
“I would say it’s a big issue,” said Moraru about hazing, although he never knew NPHW existed until now.
The same goes for Amelia Perdomo, a freshman biochemistry major, who knows what hazing is but just didn’t know there is a whole week dedicated to talk about it.
“I used to read about hazing stories in Seventeen magazines in the college and life section,” Perdomo said of the horrors of hazing. “Some of the stories were really bad, some girls were hit with pad locks and soap bars and other really bad stuff.”
The effort to prevent hazing continues every year.
“I think it’s good that they’re bringing awareness to stop this cause it’s abusive in multiple ways,” Perdomo said.