Stony Brook University recently added a hazing amnesty program to the Code of Student Responsibility to encourage reporting of hazing incidents. Through this program, students that report hazing incidents may not be subject to disciplinary actions for taking part in hazing activities.
Hazing is defined as an action taken or situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional or physical harm.
Although hazing has been closely associated with alcohol overdose, other examples could be hardships like staying awake, physical labor, stealing, or being required to eat spicy foods. These actions can be dangerous and sometimes fatal.
Hazing takes place not only in fraternities and sororities, but also on sports teams, in clubs, and in honor societies. According to a national study on hazing conducted by the University of Maine, more than half of students in colleges and universities involved in clubs, sports teams and organizations have experienced forms of hazing.
“If you in good faith are trying to help someone, we are trying to remove part of that barrier for you,” said Samantha Thompson, Associate Director for the Department of Engagement and Student Activities.
Student Engagement and Activities also coordinates virtual and in-person training and education on hazing prevention and awareness. This training includes information on what hazing is, the different types, and how to report it.
Fraternities and sororities must complete online hazing prevention training for returning and new members. To date, more than 1,100 fraternity and sorority students have been trained. New members must also complete Red Watch Band training.
National Hazing Prevention Week will take place September 23 through 27 this year, and many events are planned surrounding this initiative. Last year, more than 500 students attended the events.
Stony Brook offers several related bystander intervention programs including Red Watch Band, and enforces a Good Samaritan policy to encourage reports of unsafe drinking or other drug related emergencies.
To learn more about the hazing amnesty program and hazing prevention, visit stonybrook.edu/hazingprevention.