Letter to the Editor: ‘Hazy Waters’ editorial willRipple Effect

On Monday, an article was written called Hazy Waters in the editorial section that discussed the issues with hazing on college campuses. From what I understand, this article was not meant to say that hazing happens on our campus behind the scenes, but rather to make us aware that there is a possibility. I want to take this opportunity to educate our college community on the University’s policy on hazing and how the members of the Greek community uphold it. This was an area that was left out of the article that I believe may have represented our campus stance on hazing better.

Stereotypes exist because someone is perpetuating them by acting out these generalizations. We are not oblivious to the fact that it does happen elsewhere. However, our Greek community at Grand Valley realizes this and we make it a point to take a stand against hazing and educate others on the potential dangers of demoralizing your members. Just last week, the entire Greek Life community participated in the National Hazing Prevention Week.

The RSO Handbook Hazing Policy states that we have a zero tolerance policy for hazing in any form within all organizations. This policy is something that we, as Greek Organizations, take to heart. We understand that hazing can have long lasting negative impacts on our members and that is the last thing we want. We set out to inspire and encourage our members to become better individuals before transitioning into the adult world.

This article has raised a concern in the Greek Community. Whether it was the Lanthorn’s intention or not, some members feel misrepresented based on the association with only Greek life in the article. “By putting these articles in the paper, people get the wrong idea about Greek life. Statistically, Greeks raise more philanthropy dollars, more service hours per semester and have a higher GPA than the average undergrad population” (Eric Carbajal, Alpha Sigma Phi).

“While the article wasn’t overtly accusatory, it did read as a cautionary piece to anyone joining Greek life. Yes, hazing is a problem at other schools and an article like this would be better served, and indeed necessary, at one of those institutions. But at this University where—in the words of the author—‘Greek hazing in these communities seems virtually non-existent’ and ‘so far, campus reports indicate that there is very little to no hazing at all within both Greek life and other student organizations’ a cautionary report on hazing seems superfluous” (Carvell Lewis, Delta Tau Delta President).

If hazing has impacted you or anyone else you know, please report it as soon as possible. Help stop the ripple effect of stereotypes and continue to keep our campus clear of hazy waters. Stereotypes can hurt us all as a campus community and we need to do everything we can to prevent them from continuing. For more information on hazing, please visit www.hazingprevention.org.

Brittani Hudson
AOII Chapter President