Greeks address hazing concerns
By Stephanie McCarthy â€¢ April 1, 2010 â€¢ Category: News
Nearly two months after the UW-Platteville sorority Zeta Beta Chi was suspended for hazing, two forums were held on campus to address the issue within the UW-P Greek community.
Three sororities and six fraternities represented the Greeks. No students outside of the Greek community were in attendance at the first of the two forums.
Justin Andrews, a building construction management major and member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said that the Greek community hosted the two forums on March 24 in order to break stereotypes held by the campus community toward the Greeks. Andrews said the purpose of the Greek system is to help the community and make the campus a better place, and not to haze or harass new pledges.
â€œThe hazing incident served as a good wake-up call to the Greek community,â€ Matt Kearnst, a senior criminal justice major and member of the TKE fraternity, said. â€œThere was a negative image of the Greeks around campus, and that caused the Greek system to join together and improve campus. One group is not all of us.â€
Dean of Students Rich Egley said that over the past year the UW-P community has seen hazing on campus, but it was only from one particular sorority and not the Greek system as a whole.
â€œThere have been minimal occurrences of hazing in the past five years,â€ said Ryan Schutte, president of the United Greek Council. â€œThe problem is that people take things out of context.â€
Shaylyn Connelly, a junior environmental engineering major and member of ZBX, said that hazing is defined as anything that would make a person feel uncomfortable.
â€œThe definition of hazing is very broad,â€ Connelly said. â€œThere is a gray area left with that definition, and that leaves what hazing actually is up to the perception of an individual. What makes one person feel uncomfortable may not make another person feel uncomfortable.â€
â€œHazing is unacceptable and not allowed on campus,â€ Schutte, said. â€œThere are many policies and mandates in place that prevent hazing from happening.â€
Even after the January ruling that the ZBX sorority was guilty of hazing, members of the UW-P Greek community do not believe hazing is a major issue at UW-P.
â€œHazing is an issue on other campuses, but here [at UW-P], it is not a problem,â€ Andrews said.
Egley said students need to take responsibility for their actions and act appropriately.
â€œWe want [students in the Greek system] to live up to the expectations placed upon them by their national organizations about what sororities and fraternities are really about, and what they say they are about as a Greek organization,â€ Egley said.