Supporting Your Student
If your student decides to go through the recruitment process, there are a few things you can do to help…
- Encourage him/her to attend campus events and join student organizations. This is a great way to meet active Greeks and learn about their chapters. Membership in other campus organizations will be looked upon favorably during the recruitment process.
- Support your student during recruitment and new member education. Ask questions and learn about the organization.
- Keep an open mind. The fraternity and sorority experience is not for everyone and your student may decide it’s not the right choice for him/her.
- Remember that fraternity and sorority reputations vary by campus. The strengths/weaknesses you may have witnessed when you were in college don’t apply to every chapter. Let your student choose the group that fits best.
- Talk with your student about the financial obligation. Who will pay? What are the financial limits?
- If your student has questions about the fraternity/sorority experience, have him/her make phone calls and inquiries. It will help him/her mature and gain assertiveness.
- Keep contact information for the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs on hand in case you have questions or concerns about the fraternity/sorority experience at Austin Peay.
Resources for Hazing Prevention
Hazing comes in many forms and definitions may vary, but it is generally agreed that hazing is any action taken, or situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team whether new or not, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.
The legal definition may vary from state to state but trust your common sense. Here are a number of activities that may be considered hazing by your school or organization:
- Activities meant to ‘earn’ a place within an organization or team that seem inconsistent with someone’s character or values
- Activities that are embarrassing or mentally/physically abusive
- Forces or coerced abuse of alcohol
- Personal servitude or meaningless tasks
Many times students may not identify these activities as hazing. In fact, 9 out of 10 students who have experience it do not consider themselves to have been hazed. If you question the value, safety, or potential negative impact of an activity, then you have the right to express concern and ask questions.
WARNING SIGNS OF HAZING
Your student may or may not feel comfortable expressing concern directly to you if being hazed. Here are some key things to look for that might help you identify whether or not your student may be experiencing hazing:
- Sudden change in behavior or attitude after joining the organization or team
- Wanting to leave the organization or team with no real explanation
- Sudden decrease in communication with friends and family
- Physical or psychological exhaustion
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained injuries or illness
- Change in sleeping or eating habits
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Expressed feeling of sadness or feeling of worthlessness
- Increase in secrecy and unwillingness to share details
Talk to your student if you see any of these signs. If your conversations leave you with unresolved concern or direct suspicion of hazing, then you need to take your concerns higher. Contact the organization advisor or team coach.
You can expect an official to have a confidential discussion with you before launching an investigation into the organization’s activities. In most cases your student’s name will not be used, unless he or she comes forward and files a complaint.
There are positive ways for organizations and teams to build loyalty and a sense of belonging. But many times they need the support of advisors, coaches and you to make the positive change. Your actions can help promote strong student organizations and teams, creating a positive experience for every student.
This is information above is provided by HazingPrevention.org.