On a rainy Wednesday on the Linfield College campus, a group of students, faculty and staff huddled under a canopy in the Walker Courtyard to sign an anti-hazing pledge. Some also signed a banner, and others scrawled “THESE HANDS DON’T HAZE” on their palms.
Organizers for the Sept. 20 event included the Linfield Intrafraternity Council, the Linfield Panhellenhic Council, the Linfield Rho Phi chapter of the Order of Omega and the Linfield Student Health & Wellness team. The groups volunteered to educate the community about how to stop hazing, how to report hazing and about the anti-hazing pledge as part of both National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) and National Campus Safety Awareness month.
Mikenna Whatley ’17, program assistant for college activities and fraternity and sorority life, spearheaded this pledge drive.
“I want students, staff, faculty, club leaders, team captains—anyone who feels compelled to tell our community that their organization stands for inclusion, non-violence and anti-hazing to do so,” she says.
Founded in 2007, NHPW provides education and resources to advocate for hazing prevention on college campuses, according to hazingprevention.org. The organization 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.”
It is estimated that 5 percent of all college students admit to being hazed, and that 40 percent admit to knowing about hazing activities.