This week is National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW), and with so many of our college chapters welcoming their newest members, it is a great time to revisit the ways in which we can make their new member period—and Theta experience—the best it can possibly be. Kappa Alpha Theta has a strict no-tolerance policy for hazing and believes strongly in creating a safe and welcoming environment during all stages of a woman's membership. Here are some ideas for how to ensure your activities are providing the best experience possible for the women who we have welcomed into our sisterhood:
- Think fun, not funny: When you're planning activities for the chapter, think of how new and initiated members will experience the event. The goal should never be to embarrass someone by making or asking them do something they might be uncomfortable with. Events such as a movie night, bowling, or trivia are fun for everyone! Remember, when you're doing group activities, mix up the chapter so initiated and new members can meet each other!
- Think retreat, not sleepovers: Overnight retreats can be full of s'mores and some much-needed chapter bonding. In addition, they also need a plan and a purpose. Ensure all members are invited and that there is a bed for everyone. These retreats should not take place during Inspiration Week, and careful thought should go in to planning the activities. Retreats with specific programming based on your chapter's needs can be a great way for members to bond with one another!
- Think trust, not fear: The ultimate goal of programming (including Kappa Alpha Theta ritual) should be for members to create relationships with one another based on trust. Oftentimes we get too concerned in determining the specific events that are considered hazing, but the most important thing to consider is the environment that is being created by these events. We ask you to create a safe and secure environment for all of your chapter members. If you do have questions, though, reach out to your advisor, college district director, risk prevention committee member or headquarters staff. They're always ready and willing to help you as they all want our chapters to be successful!
Is your chapter participating in hazing prevention programming this week, either on your campus or in your community? If so, we'd love to hear about it! Post pictures from the program on social media and use the hashtag #LeadingWomenDontHaze so everyone can see how you're educating yourselves and others on hazing prevention! And add a comment below sharing details about the event.
Around this time, as the leaves are changing and pumpkin spice lattes are in season, I am so thankful and proud to see college students and administrations taking a stand against hazing and working to educate their communities about it. Hazing, an issue that is often associated with Greek Life, is something that we can all work together to prevent and stand against.
As National Hazing Prevention Week approaches, I hope you take the opportunity to unite the students on your college campus, Greek and non-affiliated, to take a stand against hazing and to educate your peers on how they can help prevent it now and in the years to come. Hazing prevention should take place all year long!
If you have any questions or would love to find out more on how to plan for National Hazing Prevention Week on your campus, visit hazingprevention.org for more details.