WRITTEN BY: RYAN FRASCELLA
On Wednesday, all Temple students involved with club sports and Greek life were required to attend a presentation about hazing. According to stophazing.org more than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing. Students gathered with their respective organizations in the McGonigle Hall to listen to guest speaker Lauren Phillips talk about her experience with hazing in college. Phillips said that her goal is to start the conversation because “there are people that are seriously injured as a result of hazing.”
All of the increased awareness about hazing is part of National Hazing Prevention week, where a speaker is chosen every year to come to Temple and speak on the issue. Temple University program coordinator, Dr. Megan Patrick, describes some of the other activities that took place to raise awareness about hazing.
“We had activities that helped educate people on what hazing is and we brought in professionals to help students and faculty recognize hazing if it ever happens,” Patrick said.
Phillips started out her speech talking about her time when she first arrived at James Madison University. She says that she was eager to join an organization so that she could find someone to sit with at lunch.
“I wasn’t sure what my place was in college. I looked to join an organization that connected me to the university,” Phillips said.
Phillips spent a lot of her presentation discussing the role of tradition in many incidents of hazing. She made clear that organizations often hide behind this excuse to justify their acts against fellow members. She emphasized that even acts that seem harmless can be considered hazing.
“People asked me to run errands and be at the beck and call of other members. I never realized that was hazing,” Phillips said.
Patrick echoed some of the same concerns as Phillips in regards to hazing.
“We wanted to start the conversation about hazing. We wanted to help organizations recognize what hazing is,” Patrick said.
People often associate hazing with Greek life. According to the same study done by stophazing.org, 73% of people participating in social fraternities and sororities have experienced some sort of hazing. Here at Temple, Patrick says that in her two years of overseeing fraternity and sorority life she hasn’t had any issues with hazing during that time span.
Drawing on her personal experience, Phillips sought to bring attention to a difficult topic that often never gets discussed publicly.
“People are so scared what the consequences might be. What the outcomes may be,” Phillips said.
There are some stark controversies apparent in the Greek organization as Phillips goes on to explain.
“We prided ourselves as being anti-hazing,” said Phillips. “While we eliminated all of the activities, we didn’t change the mentality.”
Patrick reiterated that hazing is an issue that Temple takes very seriously, and they will continue to do programs like this, to make sure that hazing doesn’t become an issue.