Featured Product of the Week: Keepsake Boxes

Happy Friday Everyone!! Now that Greek season is beginning to calm down a bit, you have probably noticed that you have compiled a new heap of Greek gear! For those of you who are new members, some of these items can be very special- such as your new member pin or badge. We all have those mementos that we will treasure forever. What better place to keep them than a personalized Keepsake Box!

These wooden keepsake boxes measure 5x7x3 and are made of solid cherry wood. Your Greek crest is engraved and you can even choose to personalize the box with your name or chapter! Whether storing your badge, lavalier, or any other favorite item- these boxes are sure to keep all of your treasures safe and sound! They also make fantastic gifts for everyone from new member to alumni!

*Order today and enter Save20Now to receive 20% off your total purchase!

“Babies” (new members): Harmless or Harmful?

With formal recruitment completed for the majority of you, results from your NHQ seem to be filling our facebook newsfeed lately! It is fantastic to see that Greek life is still going strong; and I can’t be the astronomical numbers some of you are recruiting (AWESOME JOB!)! Due to the influx of new members, it seems that there has been an increase in the use of the term “baby” or “babies.”

Now that the term “pledge” is becoming less popular, it doesn’t surprise me that the use of “babies” has become somewhat of a replacement. Many organizations have publicly stated that members are NOT to refer to new members as “babies.” I completely understand and agree with the reasoning behind avoiding these terms. New members should be spoken highly of and built up, not belittled. I think there is definitely some empowerment provided by referring to these members as “women” instead of girls and babies. I can understand that many of those who use the term “baby” have more an endearing intention than a degrading one. However, it could become confusing for new members to see it that way.

So what do you think? Are you okay with the term or are you against it?!

That’s a Wrap!

Though today marks the final day of National Hazing Prevention Week 2011, it does not mark the end of hazing prevention! Hopefully, this week you have learned more about what hazing is and the consequences it can have. As Greeks, we have an obligation to look out for each other and raise each other up. Hazing does not accomplish either of those things. Remember to always keep in mind the true meaning of brotherhood/sisterhood. Continue to stand up for the things you believe in, and empower others to do the same!

*To report hazing, contact your school administration or the National Anti-Hazing Prevention Hotline at 1-800-NOT-HAZE.

Hazing Prevention Resources

As National Hazing Prevention Week 2011 begins to wind down, it is important to remember that hazing prevention shouldn’t only be a focus for one week a year. Hazing is an issue 24/7/365. It is never acceptable, and always dangerous. Here are some resources to use to further your knowledge of hazing and prevention.

-Your National Headquarters has tons of knowledge and guidance to give when it comes to hazing. If you have a question or concern, I HIGHLY recommend contacting them. Their purpose is to help your organization be the best it can be, and they will be more than willing to help!

-Your university’s Office of Greek Life, Greek Advisor, or administration are also there to assist with any hazing issues that may arise. Safety is always a priority on college campuses, and if something is going on they need to know about it.

HazingPrevention.org is a great site to learn about hazing, read personal stories, and find volunteer opportunities!

StopHazing.org is a good site to browse, especially if you want to know more about hazing laws and the differences between states.

-Learn more about hazing at Insidehazing.com

-To report hazing of any kind, contact the National Anti-Hazing Hotline @ 1-800-NOT-HAZE!!

Stand Up, Don’t Stand By.

Now that we have defined hazing and learned the facts, its time to discuss the prevention. Hazing is a problem that can quickly and devastatingly ruin a chapter or organization. As Greeks, it is our responsibility to keep the legacy of Greek life alive and well! So how do we do this?

Obviously, the first step would be to not participate in hazing of any kind yourself. Do not haze others and do not let others haze you. But that is pretty simple, right? What may not be so simple, is standing up to others when you know something is wrong. In our hazing facts yesterday, we pointed out that 95% of hazing victims do not report their experience. How staggering is that?! Equally as shocking- over 50% of the acts are posted online through pictures. This tells us that people KNOW this is happening. Hazing isn’t a secret. So why does no one say anything?

Remember that old saying that hung in your grade school classrooms: “What is popular isn’t always right, and what’s right isn’t always popular!” Well guess what? Its still true! Understandably, the most common reason for not report hazing is the backlash a student or faculty member. No one wants to put themselves in a position of being the “tattle-tail.” But what are the consequences? Are others getting hurt (or worse!) because no one will say anything? Its true that standing up to your peers is quite possibly one of the most difficult things you can do- but what if someone’s life hangs in the balance? You never know what could go wrong; freak accidents happen ALL the time! So don’t be a bystander. Don’t sit back and watch injustice happen- do something about it! Chances are, you won’t be the only one who knows its wrong. Maybe your courage will inspire others to take a stand as well. And maybe, you will save someone’s life in the process.

To report hazing, contact your university administration or the National Anti-Hazing Hotline at 1-800-NOT-HAZE!

10 Facts You May Not Know About Hazing

1. 55% of college students involved in organizations (Greek and non-Greek) experience hazing.

2. Alcohol consumption, sleep-deprivations, sex acts, and degrading acts are common hazing practices.

3. 25% of coaches/ advisors are aware of the hazing

4. More than 50% of hazing activities are posted online

5. 95%+ of hazing victims do not report these acts

6. 47% of students experience hazing BEFORE college!

7. 44 States have laws against hazing

8. For the past 41 years, there has been at least one hazing-related death per year

9. 82% of hazing-related deaths involve alcohol

10. The hazing-related death toll for Greeks stood at 96 as of February 2010.

**TO REPORT HAZING, CALL THE NATIONAL ANTI-HAZING HOTLINE AT 1-800-NOT-HAZE, OR SPEAK WITH YOUR ORGANIZATIONS ADVISORS AND ADMINISTRATION.**

To find these facts and more, visit:
http://www.hazingstudy.org/publications/hazing_in_view_web.pdf
http://www.greeklife.uconn.edu/hazing_stats.html
https://s3.amazonaws.com/os_uploads/55430_hazing_inservice.pdf

When Hazing Gets Hazey..

If someone asked you to define hazing on your first day of college, would you have been able to? I don’t think I could’ve. As my college years passed and my Greek experience grew, I learned more about the definition and the consequences. According to StopHazing.org, hazing is defined as:

“Any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”

This is just one of many different definitions that vary based on organization, state, or severity. Hazing is not an issue just for Greeks, but for sports teams, military, employees, and practically another other group. Take a close look at professional sports teams and you will probably see it on national television! Yet, hazing can still be difficult to pinpoint because what may be humiliating to one person, may not be to another. Maybe new members are put in a dangerous situation, but luckily no one gets hurt so the behavior continues to go unnoticed and undisciplined. However, this does not make it okay.

So, what if you’re not sure if an activity is hazing? Well, if you are questioning it- then there is a good chance there is something wrong. I was once speaking with a woman who wanted to join a sorority. She was asking me questions about sorority life in general then narrowed in on hazing. She told me about a chapter she was considering joining and how she had asked a member of that chapter if they hazed. The member replied, “its not that bad.” Even though I wanted to jump up and down waving red flags and tell this woman to run for the hills, I simply said, “if she says ‘its not that bad’, what does that tell you?” Ultimately, my friend opted for a different chapter. Trust your gut, and don’t ignore the red flags. Ask yourself if this is something could potentially endanger someone, if it is illegal, or if you could get in trouble if administration found out.

There are thousands of excuses that people come up with to justify hazing, but at the end of the day- hazing goes against the basic premise of Greek life. Greek life is about building strong relationships, trust, loyalty, and having a support system. If one of my sisters purposely tried to embarrass or endanger me, that would lessen my trust in her, not build it. Creating a community where new members feel safe and comfortable will ultimately benefit the group as a whole.

Check back for more facts, tips and discussions about preventing hazing throughout the entire week! Happy Hazing Prevention Week!

To report hazing, contact school administration and/or the national anti-hazing hotline at 1-800-NOT-HAZE (1-800-668-4293).