In an effort to raise awareness of hazing and discourage its use on campus, student leaders at Towson University have coordinated a number of events for the university’s first-ever “Hazing Prevention Week.”
Kicking off Monday, Sept. 23, with a student-led “Hazing 101” forum, Hazing Prevention Week will include a carnival, poster contest and a conversation with a former NFL player on how to overcome hazing peer pressure, among other programs.
The week-long series of events is a collaboration between Fraternity and Sorority Life, Athletics, Campus Recreation Services and the Veterans Center to “bring this silent but deadly problem to the forefront.”
“There are messages in the media that tell people hazing is fun. They make you think hazing is OK. Hazing is not OK,” said Matt Lenno, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “Hazing can be damaging to individuals, organizations and institutions. It’s a problem and we want our students to know our policies inside and out.”
The campus community is encouraged to participate in any and all Hazing Prevention Week events:
Hazing 101, a student-led forum to combat hazing and learn more about its social, physical and emotional ramifications, will take place Monday, 6-8 p.m., in the University Union Potomac Lounge.
The Poster Contest Festival to promote hazing prevention begins Tuesday, 9 a.m. in UU 210. All entries are due by 3 p.m., and the winner will receive $250 and a display in the Union.
A Hazing in the Community Forum featuring Darnell Dinkins will take place Wednesday, 7-8 p.m., in the West Village Commons Ballrooms A and B. The Super Bowl champion will share his story of adversity and discuss leadership, overcoming team peer pressure and making good decisions.
The Carnival to Conquer Hazing, an afternoon of comradery-building activities like relay races, zip-lining and mountain climbing, will be held Thursday, 1-4 p.m. at Burdick Field. The event will also feature free food and performances by a DJ and the TU Marching Band.
The series will close with a Hazing Awareness Social on Friday, 1-3, 8-12 p.m. in the UU Chesapeake Rooms, where students can socialize and show their organizational pride by designing or decorating a paddle or wood design for a $250 prize.