SUNY New Paltz Offers Anti-Hazing Education
By Eloise Acevedo, Contributing Writer
The pledging process to become part of a fraternity or a sorority can be fatal.
At California State Universityâ€™s Chico campus Mat-thew Carrington, 21, died while pledging for Chi Tau Fraternity. His death was due to heart failure and water intoxication, after he was told by fraternity brothers to chug five gallons of water. (editor: the reporter has it wrong. This movie is about a similar death at SUNY Plattsburgh involving Walt Jennings, also a pledge).
This story is told in â€œUnless a Death Occurs,â€a video that was shown on Monday Sept. 24 in the Student Union Building as a part of anti-hazing week. …
Jusse Morine, a junior business major and fellow brother of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, was required to see the video because he was inducted last semester. â€œHazing is anything that makes a person feel disrespected,â€ he said. â€œI know after seeing this video people would no longer haze because it shows you that you are dealing with other peopleâ€™s lives so you should be cautious.â€
Hazing is illegal at SUNY New Paltz. The restrictions range from not being able to wear â€œgearâ€ to not being able to physically or mentally abuse someone. Greek organizations include not being able to cause humiliation to a pledge, scream at pledges or force physical activities. Brittany Bell, 19, a sophomore and secondary education major, pledged last semester and dropped the day before the girls crossed. Bell said the reason she dropped was not related to hazing but simply realizing being part of a sorority is not what she wanted any more.
Bell says that she thinks the other schools have worse problems with hazing. Bellâ€™s friend was pledging for a fraternity in SUNY Stony Brook where he was tied to railroad tracks and got loose. The point of this â€œtraditionâ€ was to trust that the brothers would always be there to untie the pledge.
Yesenia Ramirez, 20, a junior physiology and pre-sident of Chi Upsilon Sigma, pledged her second semester of college. Ramirez said hazing is not a problem on this campus because of the regulations the school applies. and anyone who wants to undergo this process is protected.
Ramirez says that hazing should not be a problem because over all a person needs to stick to their own morals regardless. â€œYou have to look at it this way, would you let someone do something to you while you are â€œpledgingâ€ that you would not normally tolerate?
Other events scheduled at SUNY New Paltz for National Hazing Prevention Week included a candle light vigil which took place on Wednesday, Sept. 26 and a day-long retreat called â€œCrossing the Line,â€ planned for Friday, Sept. 28.