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Students at Indiana University working to stop hazing



Bloomington, Indiana – Due to hazing, Indiana University has put five fraternities on cease and desist since August.

University records show that 33% of all Greek life groups have faced hazing-related sanctions in the last four years.

Conor Kennedy, president of the Interfraternity Council at IU, said, “Hazing is anything that a group of students, particularly new members in this instance, are required to do that the whole chapter is not required to do.”

Kennedy expressed concern about the large number of Greek life organizations that the university had reprimanded over the previous four years when his time with the organization began in January. “Hazing does not foster a sense of fraternity. It doesn’t provide robust and wholesome chapters.

The Interfraternity Council launched the Hoosiers, not Hazers initiative last spring. Each fraternity is required to complete the training course.

“We want to have something where there was a peer-to-peer approach where students were talking to other students about what hazing means rather than students to administration, or people that are a lot older than them, because when those people that they’re talking to have the same lived experience it really helps to kind of relate on that aspect and then understand that when they air it out why it’s bad and why they should be working away from it.”

Have certain chapters participated in that program before being placed on cease and desist this autumn?

“Yes, which was unfortunate to see. It was definitely disappointing on our end because we felt that we had had a conversation with them about what hazing was. What to look for, how to stop it, etc., and they obviously violated that.”

Does the program function properly, or does it require adjustments?

“I think it is working. Obviously, with anything that you implement, you learn from how it goes and you can make changes slightly throughout, but the main goal of the peer-to-peer approach, I think, has been really beneficial because it opens up for students to have conversations with other students and then they can truly realize things that they may not think are a big deal can be and they can lead to higher-level conduct issues.”

Details on hazing occurrences that resulted in disciplinary action for the Greek life organization are kept private by the university.

Numerous instances of hazing are listed on the university website, categorized into 12 areas such as physical assault, sexual harassment, and mental and emotional stress. The website also exhorts anyone to report hazing if they are aware of it or are being subjected to it.

Five fraternities have already been placed on cease and desist this year as a result of that reporting mechanism.

Kennedy said, “It’s a little bittersweet. Obviously, it’s concerning because the nature of some of these reports can be of concern. It’s something these chapters aren’t supposed to be doing within the new member education process, but, at the same time, it’s also positive because we know that infractions are being reported to the Office of Student Conduct rather than being swept under the rug.

So, is there a hazing issue at IU?

“I think that we’re working to fix the problem that’s persisted, but it gets better every year. Every year that we work toward a more modern fraternity culture, we work further away from the hazing problem,” Kennedy said.

According to the Interfraternity Council, it will keep up its efforts to end hazing on campuses.





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