Healthy Versus Harmful Sisterhood
The phrase “Theta for a lifetime” summarizes the way that Theta sisterhood is meant to transcend all social, cultural, geographical, and age barriers. It may be awkward to admit that not all Thetas feel this way! Members who have witnessed, survived, or taken part in hazing situations probably have a skewed vision of Theta sisterhood. When trust and safety are betrayed, relationships become sullied. As part of National Hazing Prevention Week, we offer information about hazing as well as some ways for you as a new member, undergraduate member, alumna, advisor, and/or volunteer to help change the narrative.
Invest in all our members.
Theta’s Member Orientation is designed to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community for new members. We provide mentors, big sisters, sisterhood events, educational opportunities, etc., to acclimate new members to our sisterhood. We want our newest members to feel that they belong, make friends, engage with the chapter, and continue to have these feelings throughout their membership. After Member Orientation, hazing prevention is reinforced through chapter and campus educational programs, encouraging open and honest conversations on how each group, campus, and the greater fraternity/sorority community can cultivate an atmosphere in which everyone feels included, safe, and welcomed.
When we educate our members to identify all forms of hazing, even if it is not part of their chapter experience, we empower them with the knowledge of what hazing is, what it looks like, and how to respond if members ever found themselves in a compromising position (e.g., a bystander to hazing, or partaking in another team/organization’s hazing practices).
Access and utilize resources.
Hazing prevention education also includes providing resources and outlets for members to find professional support. Research suggests that people are more likely to talk to a peer, friend, or family member than an organization’s headquarters or university officials. Think of the options that would lead you or a sister to getting help and/or taking action. For college chapter officers and advisors, Theta’s Sisters Support Sisters program offers the Talk One-2-One Hotline, 1-800-756-3124, for 24/7 mental health counseling.
Since 2007, Theta and other international fraternities and sororities support the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline, available to anyone who thinks they or someone they know has been or may become a victim of hazing: 1-888-NOT HAZE (1-888-668-4293). You can also call Theta headquarters, 1-800-876-1870, and state that you would like to report a hazing incident.
Follow Theta on social media to learn more about hazing prevention. Hazingprevention.org, StopHazing.org, and Rise Partnerships offer wonderful resources. You may also contact us.