Change—You Can Make
Eradicating hazing can seem like an overwhelming undertaking,
but it's important to remember that every individual can
play an important role in making positive change. Consider
the following (adapted from Berkowitz, 1994) steps as a guide
for thinking about how you can help make change:
Help others to:
- Notice hazing.
- Interpret hazing as a problem.
- Recognize a responsibility to change it.
- Acquire the skills needed to take action.
- Take action!
According to this model, the most effective way to educate
about hazing is to begin by drawing attention to hazing and
helping others interpret hazing as a problem. Campus and
school officials, and student leaders, can do this by publicizing
hazing policies (or establishing policies when they don't
exist); providing information to students parents, staff,
faculty and community members about how to identify hazing
and where to report it; providing assurances of support for
those who do report being hazed, establishing consequences
for those who participate in hazing; and most importantly,
developing incentives for the implementation of non-hazing
group initiations and activities.
the adage: “If you're not part of the solution,
you're part of the problem.” It's not difficult to become
part of the solution. Begin by educating yourself and others
about hazing. You might consider reading
a book about hazing.
Next, help to build awareness about hazing by talking with
your friends, family and others about the issue. Help others
to re-define hazing as a serious social problem—not simply
harmless jokes, pranks and antics. Become a positive role
model by talking with youth about hazing and making them
aware of the potential problems. Inform yourself of the laws and policies related to hazing in your community and school/college/university.
Identify others in your school or community who are also
concerned about hazing—have a meeting—talk about what you
can do as a team to prevent harmful hazing.
Common Barriers to Changing a Hazing Culture
In order to make meaningful change, it is important to identify
the key barriers to change and work on dismantling these.
Common barriers to eliminating hazing include:
is a complex social problem with no “easy answers.” Those
of us who have worked with groups to transform a hazing culture
know there are many challenges to making meaningful change.
However, we must not forget that every individual has an
important role to play in helping to solve the problem of
hazing. Each individual action can make a difference. Together,
we can continue to build awareness and develop effective
intervention and prevention strategies to eliminate harmful
Do you have a success story to share? We'd like to hear
it. Please send your hazing change-making story to firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Berkowitz, A. D. (Ed.). (1994). Men and rape: Theory,
research and prevention programs in higher education. San
Francisco : Jossey-Bass.