Geneseo is currently participating in National Hazing Prevention Week, a program designed to create awareness about what hazing is and how it can be prevented.
Hazing is usually defined as any harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a rite of passage or to initiate a person into an organization.
This year the program was organized by Wendi Kinney, coordinator of Greek Affairs and Off-Campus Living, with Amy Willems, residence director of Niagara Hall. Both attended the Interdisciplinary Institute for Hazing Intervention at Butler University in Indiana over the summer.
To raise awareness, residence assistants in several halls created bulletin boards providing information about hazing and suggestions for alternative activities that promote group unity without potentially inflicting psychological or physical harm on inductees. Willems also created a bulletin board in the Union that lists notable hazing-related events from the past decade.
Specific programs taking place this week were chosen based on the suggestions of HazingPrevention.org, a non-profit organization that encourages "healthy and productive experiences for new members" of various organizations, in addition to providing information about hazing prevention events that have been successful at other campuses.
Students are invited to sign anti-hazing pledges available at Mary Jemison, the College Union and Milne Library throughout the week. In honor of National Gordie Day, a day promoting alcohol abuse awareness, there will be a table in the union today where students can receive information from the Gordie Foundation and cups featuring statistics about hazing and alcohol.
National Gordie Day was created by the parents of Lynn Gordon Bailey, a freshman at the University of Colorado that died in 2004 from an alcohol overdose during a fraternity hazing incident.
According to Kinney, in the past she has "received reports that would indicate that activities that meet the college's definition of hazing have occurred in Greek organizations and other student groups."
Hazing has been at the forefront of discussion at the college since Arman Partamian, then a sophomore, died after heavily drinking with a group called PIGS, a non-Greek organization which was not affiliated with the college.
Later in the semester, Livingston County District Attorney Tom Moran charged the Phi Sigma Xi fraternity with hazing, criminal nuisance and unlawfully dealing with a child.
"I have heard of other sororities hazing and that is why I was hesitant to [pledge] at first," said sophomore Katie Pettit, who is pledging the Sigma Kappa sorority. "The girls at Sigma Kappa put my mind at ease and told me that their pledge process did not involve hazing."
Sophomore Meghan Lijewski, a sister of Sigma Delta Tau, said she had not heard of the anti-hazing pledge and is skeptical about its effectiveness.
"The week is … intended to get all members of the campus involved, not only fraternity and sorority members," Willems said.
Tonight, as part of National Hazing Prevention Week, speaker David Stollman will present a lecture titled, "Buy In or Get Out" at 7 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium. Greek members are expected to attend, but all are welcome. Stollman's movie, Haze, is also being shown on campus channel 15 until Saturday.
Geneseo's National Hazing Prevention Week events are sponsored by Activities Commission, Center for Community, the Inter-Greek Council, Office of Greek Affairs and Student Association.
The Lamron looks closer:Hazing statistics
More than 250,000 students experienced some sort of hazing to join an athletic team.
5% of all college students admit to being hazed.
40% admit to knowing about hazing activities.
40% report that a coach or club advisor was aware of the hazing.
22% report that the coach or advisor was involved in the hazing.
50% of the female NCAA Division 1 athletes reported being hazed.
More than 20% of female NCAA athletes were subjected to alcohol-related hazing; however an even higher percentage admitted to "mental hazing" which ranged from singing to being kidnapped.
10% of the female NCAA athletes were physically hazed including being branded, tattooed, beaten, thrown in water or having their head forcibly shaved.
6-9% of the female NCAA athletes were subjected to sexually-related hazing including harassment, actual assault or being expected to simulate sex activities.
60% agree that it is important to tolerate psychological stress and 32% believe it is important to tolerate physical pain.
67% agree that a significant part of initiation is humiliation.
46% believe that the most important thing is to keep the code of silence.
29% of Greek leaders are concerned with the overuse of alcohol during pledge activities.
36% say they would not report hazing primarily because "there's no one to tell" and 27% feel that "adults won't handle it right."
Students are more likely to be hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed.
1 - Alfred University Study, Dr. Norm Pollard, Dr. Elizabeth Allen, et. al, 1999
2 - National Study of Student Hazing (prelim), Dr. Elizabeth Allen and Dr. Mary Madden 2006
3 - Dissertation, Dr. Colleen McGlone, 2005
4 - Insidehazing, Dr. Susan Lipkins, 2006
Facts compiled by Inside Hazing at insidehazing.com.