This is National Hazing Prevention Week and the University of Central Florida is focusing on how witnesses to hazing can help victims in need.
Members of the Greek community at UCF will take part in a nationwide effort to prevent hazing through various educational sessions and activities. This year the focus of the week will be on educating and encouraging not just victims of hazing, but also those who witness hazing to stand up and report it. According to www.stophazing.org, 40 percent of students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus, and more than 20 percent report they have witnessed hazing.
From 10 a.m. to noon each day this week there is a “Lead the Charge by Taking a Stand!” anti-hazing pledge signing in the Student Union. Signers are asked to prevent hazing before it occurs, stop it when they see it and report it if it has transpired.
Keynote speaker Lianne Kowiak will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 24, in Classroom Building II, Room 101. Kowiak’s son died in 2008 from hazing at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina. Since then she has become an advocate for anti-hazing, has spoken at universities on the issue, and continues to push for harsher punishments for those convicted of hazing. Kowiak will discuss how anyone can take the lead and make a difference against hazing. Other workshops will be held to promote peer intervention.
For more information about UCF’s Hazing Prevention Week, click here.