Candlelight Vigil Part of Hazing Prevention Week

Photo by Hope Patti

National Hazing Prevention Week came to an end last week, and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life at Ramapo hosted a candlelight vigil on Thursday near the Arch.

Frank Albergo, a junior, describes this annual ceremony as, “a memory of everybody that passed away, to bring together the Greeks and all … to stop hazing on campus. It’s annual … we have it every year. This is the fifth year we’ve had National Hazing Prevention Week at Ramapo College.”

The ceremony uses the same script every year, which is read by the council presidents of the Greek community. The first section, as read by Albergo, spoke about the candlelight vigil and stated that the Greek community at Ramapo College’s mission is "to educate, to eliminate senseless acts of hazing at Ramapo College.”

Albergo went on to read, “Every year, colleges … spend millions of dollars educating their members on hazing prevention, yet 69 percent of students are aware that hazing is occurring on their campus and only one in four choose to report anything.”

The fraternity and sorority members at Ramapo College “stand together today as a Greek community, ready to act against senseless immaturity and hold our members accountable,” said Albergo.

“One might suggest that hazing should not only be a concern for the fraternity and sorority community, but for varsity athletics, and various other college entities,” Wilson Quiceno, the next speaker of the vigil, went on to say. “We would agree, however, of the 300 college student deaths that have occurred nationally as a result of hazing over the last 30 years, all but two were related to the pledge process of the Greek community. Two hundred ninety-eight students died, simply trying to fit in or belong to our groups. Two hundred ninety-eight students never got to experience what a real fraternity brother or sorority sister means, and 298 families had to bury their son or daughter as a result of their child’s involvement in our groups.”

Quiceno also said during the ceremony, “nine out of 10 students experiencing hazing behaviors do not consider themselves to be hazed, and over half our members have experienced hazing in some degree … Many of our newest members have come to college already having been a victim of hazing in high school.”

The closing speech ended the vigil by stating that “tradition as Ramapo Greeks is one of excellence and pride” and that they strive to “continue to keep it that way."