Pictured: Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Development Kevin MacBride and President of Latina-oriented sorority Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc., Kathleen Lopez, who signs a poster to pledge against hazing behaviors.
From September 18 through 22, members of New York Tech’s Fraternity and Sorority Life on the Long Island campus donned purple in observance of Hazing Prevention Week. Typically held at the end of September each year, this nationally observed week aims to raise awareness and increase education about the dangers of hazing.
“Hazing Prevention Week is so important because of the number of deaths and injuries caused by hazing every year,” says Inter-Fraternity Sorority Council President Anamika Rao, a life sciences/osteopathic medicine student. “With this week, we hope all students on New York Tech’s Long Island campus are able to learn more about hazing, what it is, how to stop it, and what to do if they are in the presence of hazing.”
According to the Hazing Prevention Network, more than half of college students who are involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing. This may include unwanted alcohol consumption, public humiliation, sleep-deprivation, and other abusive behaviors.
President of Latina-oriented sorority Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc., Kathleen Lopez, an undergraduate mechanical engineering student, believes there is an unfortunate stigma around Greek life and that joining a fraternity or sorority means getting hazed.
“By New York Tech’s Fraternity and Sorority Life observing Hazing Prevention Week, it shows we don’t do that,” she says. “Hazing is something that we are against, and it is not a part of our process to join a fraternity or a sorority.”
Throughout the week, Fraternity and Sorority Life members hosted an assortment of events to help raise awareness and educate fellow students about dangerous hazing behavior. They kicked off on Monday, September 18, with students wearing purple, the official color of Hazing Prevention Week. Tuesday brought students together in Salten Hall for These Claws Don’t Haze, a poster signing project to pledge against hazing.
On Wednesday night, students gathered in the Student Activity Center to watch Haze, a film about two brothers in college—one pursuing Greek life and the other protesting against fraternity and sorority wrongdoings around campus. Thursday afternoon, Fraternity and Sorority Life members held a naloxone (Narcan) training session, where students learned life-saving techniques to counter a drug overdose. The week ended with Friday’s bystander intervention seminar, where attendees learned what to do when they see out-of-place behavior, following the classic motto, “if you see something, say something.”
“If students think they are witnessing hazing they can contact the Office of Student Life, and we’ll discuss the next steps of reporting that behavior,” says Kevin MacBride, assistant director of student engagement and development on the Long Island campus. “Thankfully, we haven’t had any reported incidents of hazing. We have a great Greek life community here at New York Tech.”