National Hazing Prevention Week ends with pledge signing event

Last week, Ramapo College celebrated National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) from Sept. 18-22. NHPW was started in 2008 by the nonprofit organization Hazing Prevention Network to end hazing on college campuses. 

According to the Hazing Prevention Network, hazing can take the form of “alcohol consumption, humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation, and sex acts” and often are posted to social media. Nationally, hazing has caused the death of at least 105 college students since 2000.

Ramapo College’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) held three events to celebrate NHPW: a remembrance vigil, a hazing prevention workshop and a pledge signing. 

The Remembrance Vigil occurred on Monday, Sept. 18, in Friends Hall. Assistant Director for Student Involvement and Coordinator of the OFSL Amanda Riehl gave a brief speech in which she spoke about the prevalence of hazing and its impact. The names of people who have passed away within the past 10 years due to hazing were read during a moment of silence to honor the victims. 

Graduate Assistant for Student Involvement Daniel Gurniak presented at the Hazing Prevention Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 19, in Friends Hall. He spoke about recognizing, intervening in, and preventing hazing. Attendees participated in an activity where they were asked to identify if a sample event was or wasn’t hazing.

“Hazing Prevention Week is an important program that [sic] Fraternity and Sorority Life puts together each year. It highlights our twofold mission: educate RCNJ about the problems with hazing and eradicate all hazing on campus and nationwide,” Gurniak said. 

The pledge signing event was held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Student Center. Students were given the opportunity to electronically sign an anti-hazing pledge while Riehl provided information about hazing.

“We try to strategically plan events and workshops that engage our students and make them aware of the effects of hazing,” Riehl said.

The hazing prevention initiative aims to eliminate hazing locally and nationally. “We hope each of our students and members of the Ramapo community feel empowered to speak up if they see something going on that shouldn’t be,” she said.

Featured photo courtesy of Jessica C. Gray