September 19-23 is National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW). According to HazingPrevention.Org™, the organizer of NHPW, this is “an opportunity for campuses, schools, communities, organizations and individuals to raise awareness about the problem of hazing, educate others about hazing, and promote the prevention of hazing.”
Here at NC State, and nationally, we know that student involvement in a variety of experiences promotes student success. Students are more likely to persist, graduate and experience higher satisfaction rates after graduation. When hazing is part of that experience, however, students can find themselves struggling with activities that compete with academics, with feelings of isolation, suffering from sleep deprivation, or subjected to abuse. Hazing can occur in a wide variety of settings, including sports teams, fraternities and sororities, clubs, and bands. Hazing does not build a community. Hazing introduces risk, increases vulnerability, is often negligent or reckless in nature, and unreasonably interferes with academic activities and success.
Consistent with the mission, vision and values of NC State, the university is dedicated to creating an environment where academic pursuits and individual freedoms are uninterrupted by hazing. In doing so, we acknowledge a shared responsibility with students for their safety. The university must balance the rights and responsibilities of students, while providing support, education, and control as is reasonably necessary and appropriate. In turn, students must make good choices and bear the consequence of their decisions. Together, we shall proactively manage hazing-related risks.
The university has appointed an interdisciplinary task force to assess the NC State culture around hazing and design prevention strategies to serve as the foundation for the partnership between the university, students and organizations. Moving forward, we will clearly communicate expectations and design systems to empower leadership and members to proactively manage hazing-related risks. We will respond appropriately to decisions and incidents that are not aligned with expectations regarding hazing, and in doing so, maintain a community that fosters student and organizational success.
We encourage all NC State community members to stand up to hazing. If you see something, say something: to your coach, your advisor, a faculty member, or administrator. You can also file an anonymous incident report with the university, or call the National Hazing Hotline at (888) NOT-HAZE. If someone’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately.
We all have a responsibility to protect the Pack!