In light of the recent hazing-related death of sophomore Arman Partamian, the Phi Sigma Xi fraternity held an anti-hazing seminar on April 17 in Newton.
The goal of the seminar was to educate students - specifically those involved in Greek organizations - about the dangers of hazing and provide them with alternative ways to foster unity within their organizations.
The seminar began with a showing of the documentary "HAZE." The film illustrates the hazards associated with hazing and specifically touches on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption commonly connected with Greek organizations. The film brought to light a variety of issues including binge drinking, injuries as a result of excessive drinking, assault and the deep changes that have occurred in the Greek system since it was founded.
Following the film, members of Phi Sigma Xi provided listeners with ways to avoid hazing. They began by trying to dispel certain myths about hazing such as the misconception that it only occurs in fraternities and sororities, that hazing teaches respect and that if there is no malicious intent, then hazing poses no harm.
They went on to explain certain types of hazing, including forced consumption of harmful or undesired substances, fools' errands, degradation and anything that endangers a person's well being.
The speech concluded with some alternatives to hazing. The fraternity suggested ideas such as developing problem-solving abilities and leadership skills, planning special events, building awareness of chapter history and aiding members with career goals. The presenters said they believe these alternatives promote working together to achieve a program that fully engages members in the values of their organization.
A representative from Phi Sigma Xi that requested to remain anonymous spoke on behalf of the fraternity explaining why he felt it was important to hold this seminar. "It is an effort to heighten the public image of Greek life and to dispel hazing myths," he said. "This is part of a bigger effort to reach out to the Geneseo community including community service and awareness."