These hands don’t haze is a motto UTA students will become familiar with over the semester.
National Hazing Prevention week began Monday across the nation and UTA will have its feature event at 5 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Lonestar Auditorium, located in the Maverick Activities Center. Timothy Quinnan, vice president for Student Affairs, said he will give a short speech followed by Haze, a documentary produced by the Gordie Foundation, but because of the graphic nature of the film, children are prohibited.
“So basically it will be like a hazing prevention workshop,” Quinnan said. “I will give a short speech talking about what I hope the expectations of the university are. It’s about educating each other and basically being your brother and sister’s keeper and making sure that you keep yourself and others out of harm’s way by avoiding behaviors that have potential for trouble.”
Students can indicate their hands don’t haze throughout the remainder of the week by signing or hand-stamping this year’s banner outside of the University Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Mikiba Morehead, director of Student Judicial Affairs.
Kelli Vincent, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the campaign is a collaboration of several departments, staff and students from across campus in an attempt to educate and spread awareness.
“This committee came together to start the conversation of hazing among our students to help them understand what hazing is and the outcomes it can have,” Vincent said. “We want to empower our students to know what hazing means, how to get support if they have concerns and how not to be a bystander if they know something is happening that shouldn’t.”
The ultimate goal is to change the behavior of students, Vincent said.
“We know that may not occur during this official week, but with resources and education it can happen in the future,” she said.
Quinnan said hazing comes in many forms and it’s not just the forced drinking or physical hazing the campaign hopes to highlight. Psychological hazing can be just as devastating, he said.
“It’s not so much how they portray it in popular culture where someone says here is a handle of vodka and we’re going to drop you in the desert and you have to find your way back,” he said. “That does happen, but a lot of times it’s not so much a demand like you will do this as much as it is if you don’t do this you won’t be a brother or you’re not going to be a sister or be a part of the ROTC. There is that subtle implication that somehow if you don’t do it we’re going to get even. The insidious part of hazing can be imbedded into relationships in ways that are very blunt but sometimes very subtle and hinted at and it really works on the student’s psyche. It can extend beyond the acceptance of the group and into other aspects of their life in the future.”
In accordance with state law, Morehead said, UTA provides notification to students regarding organizations who have been found responsible for a hazing violation within the past three years on the hazing policy page. Currently, three reports are on file.
Students can follow the national conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #40ANSWERS, and learn more about National Hazing Prevention week by visiting hazingprevention.org as well as UTA’s hazing policy page.