Hazing module 101 controversy

Cara Radosevich, Staff Writer

GC requires all returning students to complete the Hazing Prevention 101 Course and requires freshmen to take the module before arriving on campus. According to Rachel Pope, a health educator at GC, the hazing prevention module is required because this topic has not been addressed with all students. Hazing can be physically, emotionally and psychologically damaging.

Jack Howle, a senior political science major, said he does not believe the module will be effective in preventing hazing and that almost all students he has discussed the module with have said they did not read it.

“The module treats hazing as a black-and-white issue and to compare embarrassing recruits or forcing them to perform menial tasks to potentially life-threatening acts is disingenuous,” Howle said. “The module is nothing but posturing by the GC Administration in order to save face for donors and the parents of potential students.”

Pope views all forms of hazing as harmful and emphasized the importance of bystander intervention as crucial to hazing prevention and organizations that haze aspiring members because past members were initiated through hazing and need to abandon that mindset.

“What someone might think is funny and harmless at the time has the potential to become inappropriate, humiliating, degrading, and dangerous,” Pope said.

Emily Jarvis, the director of Family and Parent Programs, shared that hazing is often more psychological in nature. She supervised filming for the National Hazing Prevention Week video. The video includes commentary from students involved in Greek life and other student organizations.

“They’re delivering a message about what hazing is, how to spot it and then their commitment as a collective, as individuals, to fight hazing and report it when they see it,” Jarvis said.

She said that student organizations will be requested to post the video to their respective pages and several campus departments are already planning to upload it. Jarvis hopes the video will be effective as students learn about hazing from their peers and classmates. She believes all students must be involved in the effort to end hazing.

She noted that hazing does not only occur in Greek life and can happen in any kind of student organization. Hazing is not exclusive to students. This can happen among adults, whether at work or in an organization. Jarvis recommends the counseling services at GC for those who have been affected by hazing incidents, even if they were not recent. 

Students who have knowledge of hazing events or witness them can be held liable. It is important for students to report them through the GC website at Incident Report (maxient.com).

“We have our reporting form online that can be anonymous, but we do encourage people to include some information, knowing that we will keep that in confidence,” Jarvis said.