Each fall, the Order of Omega at NC State sponsors National Hazing Prevention Week. This year, from Sept. 23-29, the order has organized a plethora of events that aim to tackle the issue of hazing through education and promoting prevention measures.
Events for this year’s National Hazing Prevention week include a Krispy Kreme fundraiser called “Donut Haze," “These Hands Don’t Haze” tunnel painting, HAZE Documentary Screening & Discussion, Goodberry’s Percentage Night and “End Hazing Now: A Night with the Piazza & Gruver Families.”
Becky Thomas, a fourth-year studying biomedical engineering and president of Order of Omega, discussed the goals of National Hazing Prevention Week: to spread awareness and to ensure that a zero-tolerance mentality toward hazing is enforced.
"National Hazing Prevention Week is about promoting nationally the anti-hazing movement, to really try to stop the spread and the normalization of it on campus,” Thomas said. “It's something that we don't tolerate at all; in fact, all of the chapters here have a zero-tolerance policy. So, just continuing to promote that and make sure that's being recognized and enforced and promoted."
HazingPrevention.org, a sponsor of National Hazing Prevention Week, defines hazing as “any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”
"We hear all the time about incidents happening across the country that are heartbreaking, and that is something that should never be happening,” Thomas said. “Hazing is not normal; it doesn't go along with our values. Every Greek chapter has certain values that we live by … these things are not something that hazing agrees with at all. It completely goes against what we stand for, and it's something that we really don't condone.”
Emily Hager, a fourth-year studying environmental science and political science and vice president of programming for the Order of Omega, said the goal of the event is to bring members of the community together.
"It brings the community out; it's very visible as well,” Hager said. “Hazing is a very closeted thing a lot of times. It brings people together because a lot of people don't talk about it; it's very stigmatized. It's something that's kept hush under the radar, so bringing it out like this and showing people that we care about it and that it's something that's important in the community."
Hager said two of the events taking place during the week, Donut Haze and Goodberry's Percentage Night, are fundraisers where money donated will go toward the Timothy J. Piazza Memorial Foundation, named for a student who died in a hazing incident at Penn State. The Piazza family will be speaking on Sunday to NC State students involved in Greek Life as well.
Hager said measures are taken outside of Hazing Prevention Week to address the issue consistently, including hazing prevention modules online and national chapters and advisers who step in when incidents are brought to their attention.
"There's a lot of different measures in place,” Hager said. “It's not just this week; this week is an awareness thing, bringing people together, and we have additional programming that actually addresses the main issue."
Will Schriefer, a fourth-year studying pulp and paper science engineering and risk manager for Chi Psi Fraternity, said this week of events is important because it endorses the good treatment of other people and raises the standards of what Greek organizations do.
"I really want more people to see what we're doing,” Schriefer said. “They can see that there are people in fraternities who don't stand up to this, who don't tolerate this and hopefully that will help break the stigma of what ‘fraternity’ means across the nation — how not all fraternities haze, not all fraternities have this bad light on them."