A week dedicated to hazing prevention

The following post for StopHazing was written by Lara Carney, an intern for StopHazing and a fourth year Journalism major at the University of Maine with a double minor in professional and creative writing. 

Students, colleges, and communities nationwide banded together the week of September 18 through September 22 to spread the word and recognize the harmful effects of hazing. This week, known as National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW), consisted of activities, contests, and other various events meant to educate others on the traditions of hazing and why it needs to end.

Hank Nuwer, a well-known advocate of the fight against hazing, posted on his webpage the Sunday after NHPW to highlight and give credit to athletes at Franklin College who went five days without drinking alcohol in honor of NHPW:

“Big thanks to Athletic Director Kerry Prather, Coach Andy Hendricks, coaches & athletes for doing what no other college has accomplished–sending a message that alcohol and hazing have hurt too many lives.” – Nuwer

The University of Connecticut held a new event each day as part of their own tenth annual Hazing Prevention Week. Special events included a poster contest dedicated to hazing prevention, a discussion about hazing people could follow on social media using the hashtag #huskiesdonthaze, and others.

HazingPrevention.org holds a NHPW Essay Competition each year that focuses on a hazing-related theme. This year’s theme was “Hazing Hurts – Stop the Cycle.” First place winner went to Ariel McLain from the Garrett Morgan School of Science in Cleveland, Ohio and her essay on how hazing rituals have become “normalized.”

“We brush [hazing] off as a normal part of social acceptance, or by saying everyone has gone through this at least once in their life. Some think that it is worth it, but at what cost?” – McLain

Pennsylvania State University joined the national movement to recognize NHPW as well. Students attended educational events provided by the university, including a short film called We Don’t Haze and a discussion that followed with associate professor of sociology and environmental studies, Nick Rowland. Penn State also held a lecture led by Travis Apgar, a student affairs professional working toward abolishing the hazing culture.

Below are some tweets from student life organizations and how they joined the fight to eradicate hazing during NHPW: