Fraternities & Sororities are values-based organizations. Hazing is incongruent with the values, purpose, and process of becoming a member of a F&M Fraternity or Sorority.
If you suspect questionable activities
Six steps you should take
Discuss: First, discuss the definition of hazardous hazing with her/him so she/he understands what’s at stake and how quickly things can spiral out of control.
Research: If your son/daughter or family member intends to join a group with initiation rites, she/he needs to find out beforehand exactly what they are. FACT: International fraternities have no secrets around their new member programs.
Plan an exit: Have an intervention/exit strategy, in case an activty or tradition turns out to be questionable. It can be extremely difficult for one person to stop a hazing situation, but if your child is one of five or 10 new members who have agreed on a course of action beforehand, they can act together to prevent injury.
Stay alert and don’t be first: No matter how mundane the ritual, your son/daughter should keep her/his wits about him/her. That means not getting drunk, not being blindfolded or led into areas where she/he cannot see an exit. She/He should follow his gut instinct – if she/he is asked to do something that feels wrong or dangerous, she/he needs to get out. And she/he should never volunteer to go first in any activity. FACT: No International Fraternity/Sorority would deny a person membership for choosing to stop or leave an inappropriate activity/event/situation.
Safety first: If she/he or her/his friends are injured, they need to seek medical attention. Internal bleeding, fractures and overdoses require urgent and immediate care. No “code of silence” should preclude their calling an ambulance.
Beware psychological damage: Even after a hazing activity is over, psychological problems may persist. If your child is experiencing sleep problems, flashbacks, anxiety, depression or intense feelings, she/he needs to talk to a counselor and/or a doctor. She/He can get a referral to a mental health specialist through the campus health services, her/his own doctor back home, by calling the phone number on the back of his health insurance card or by calling a crisis hotline.