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Zeta Beta Chi update–hazing–UWP Exponent article

http://www.uwpexponent.org/2010/04/01/greeks-address-hazing-concerns/

Greeks address hazing concerns
By Stephanie McCarthy • April 1, 2010 • 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.

“The hazing incident served as a good wake-up call to the Greek community,” Matt Kearnst, a senior criminal justice major and member of the TKE fraternity, said. “There 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.”

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.

“There have been minimal occurrences of hazing in the past five years,” said Ryan Schutte, president of the United Greek Council. “The problem is that people take things out of context.”

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.

“The definition of hazing is very broad,” Connelly said. “There 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.”

“Hazing is unacceptable and not allowed on campus,” Schutte, said. “There are many policies and mandates in place that prevent hazing from happening.”

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.

“Hazing is an issue on other campuses, but here [at UW-P], it is not a problem,” Andrews said.

Egley said students need to take responsibility for their actions and act appropriately.

“We 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,” Egley said.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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