Hazing deemed cowardly
Anti-hazing advocate speaks to Greeks during National Hazing Prevention Week
The Daily Evergreen
Hazing erodes respect and takes away what the Greek community stands for, an anti-hazing advocate told fraternity and sorority members Wednesday in Beasley Coliseum.
Dave Westol spoke to students about eliminating hazing in the Greek community and on the WSU campus. The speech, “Hazing on Trial,” was a feature of National Hazing Prevention Week, a program aimed at eliminating hazing on college campuses.
â€œThis is a process that involves cruelty and ridicule and, yes, taking away our dignity,â€ he said. â€œThis is all about hazing.â€ He told stories of hazing gone wrong from his experiences in the Greek community at Michigan State University and work with national fraternity and sorority events.
â€œHazing is the dark side of our moon,â€ Westol said. â€œIt runs counter to everything we believe in.â€ Westol attacked the arrogance of Greek community members who have participated in hazing, using stories of deaths caused by hazing and punishments for those who have broken anti-hazing policies. â€œYou donâ€™t breathe the same air as me thinking hazing has anything to do with a tighter, closer or in any way better fraternity or sorority,â€ Westol said.
Hazing can cause legal troubles for the Greek community and can result in a chapter being shut down, he said.
Members of the Greek community who haze have less confidence and are less self-actualized, Westol said. â€œIf one young woman, or one young man, demonstrates the courage, stands up, speaks out, confronts, challenges, makes a commitment to change, then I havenâ€™t wasted your time this afternoon,â€ he said.
Westol has a long history of active involvement with the Greek community, taking on many advising and executive positions on the national level. He is also the owner and CEO of Limberlost Consulting.
National Hazing Prevention Week is a weeklong series of events sponsored by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils to educate students about the problem of hazing.
â€œLive up to your standards,â€ said Jen Patterson, Panhellenic vice president of programming and development and a senior human nutrition major. â€œLive up to your policy. You say you are not going to haze, so donâ€™t do it. There are other positive ways to build membership in the organization.â€ WSU has a zero-tolerance policy on hazing for the Greek community and all other student organizations.
â€œWithout (the policy), I donâ€™t think the Greek system would be as valuable as an experience as it is now,â€ said Matt Dahlstrom, freshman political science major and a Kappa Sigma member.