National Hazing Prevention Week has came to Montclair State University this past Monday and will continue through Friday. The schedule of events, structured by Amanda Riehl, the Graduate Assistant of Greek Affairs, has been educationally and strategically designed to eliminate the “H” word – hazing – locally and nationally.
With events ranging from hazing prevention workshops to a hazing prevention rally with an appearance by DJ Ridd, this week was jam-packed with various functions to make students on campus aware of the effects of hazing and why it is not tolerated on Montclair State’s campus.
Riehl did her best to incorporate events that would also involve other student organizations outside of Greek Life such as Montclair State’s sports teams. Contrary to popular belief, hazing, which is predominantly associated with Greek Life, actually occurs in other clubs and organizations on college campuses.
“People overlook athletics a lot. According to recent statistics, sports has the highest hazing percentage out of all on campus organizations,” said Riehl. According to HazingPrevention.org, “74% of students participating in varsity athletics have experienced at least one hazing behavior.” Athletics is often not associated with the “H” word, however.
“We made it a point to team up with athletics this year to have their involvement on this,” said Riehl. “It’s great seeing their players getting involved and supporting.”
It took about four months for Riehl to get all of the events in motion, scheduling spaces and planning each night’s particular event. The most popular event of the week is taking place in the Student Center where any student is encouraged to fill out a hand cutout and take the pledge against hazing which will be going on until Friday, Sept. 25.
This year’s theme for National Hazing Prevention Week is “These hands don’t haze,” which is the national theme for all hazing prevention weeks that are occurring on college campuses. Several organizations have shown their pledge against hazing through the designing of banners, which can be viewed hanging in the Student Center lobby.
Different organizations on campus, particularly Greek organizations, have been hosting individual events. Delta Phi Epsilon, a national sorority, holds an annual Anti-Hazing Candlelight Vigil, which they’ve been doing for four consecutive years.
Delta Phi Epsilon’s President, Amanda San Lucas, said, “Hazing is something that is not necessary to become a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood. I truly hope that those inside and outside of the Greek Community understand this.”
Greek Life takes the largest hit when it comes to allegations against hazing. “I can see why people would automatically assume Greeks are the only ones guilty of hazing,” said Riehl, “mostly because we’re the ones being portrayed in the media, in movies and such. It’s unfortunate because we really have to up our efforts to combating that
“You can’t rely on the media’s depiction of us, because you really won’t get to know Greek Life for real,” said Riehl. “People tend to take the media’s depiction of hazing in Greek Life and don’t always get to see what an actual big family Greek Life really is.”
To find out the rest of this week’s events, check out @GreekLifeMSU on Instagram.