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Sept. 21, 2012
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University’s Panhellenic Council, with Interfraternity Council and Order of Omega, is co-sponsoring a week of activities and reaching out to all student organizations to raise awareness of the dangers of hazing.
As part of National Hazing Prevention Week, students can learn about hazing and sign a pledge against hazing in the J.W. Jones Student Union Monday through Friday.
“Northwest has always been really good about not hazing and making student organizational leaders aware of the dangers of hazing,” said Katelyn Bridges, Panhellenic Council vice president of programming and a senior public relations major from Albany. “We want everyone to know how important it is to not make people do things they’re not willing to do.”
Forty percent of college students admit to knowing about hazing activities, according to a recent study by the National Study of Student Hazing.
With that in mind, Northwest recently took a proactive step to deter hazing on its campus and updated its anti-hazing policy. Northwest’s revised policy approved by the Board of Regents Sept. 13 defines hazing as “a willful act that occurs on or off the Northwest campus and is directed at a student or a prospective member of an organization sanctioned by Northwest and that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of the student or prospective member.” The policy proposal was the result of a University task force that convened during the summer, and all student organizations at Northwest must abide by it.
During National Hazing Prevention Week, members of student organizations are encouraged to sign a banner at the E-Dome in the Student Union, pledging their support of hazing prevention. Students can also learn about the dangers of hazing at a table outside the Bearcat Bookstore.
With the newly revised policy and awareness activities during National Hazing Prevention Week, Bridges said Panhellenic Council hopes to make all students aware of the dangers of hazing.
“It’s just senseless violence,” Bridges said, “It could end with someone dying of alcohol poisoning, or someone having to stay up for days and getting in a car accident. Things like that are senseless and avoidable.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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