Hazing Awareness

The spring recruitment season has begun. Students are receiving bids and pledging their fraternity or sorority of choice. But things can get dangerous once they’ve been accepted. Nationally, about half of college students involved in campus organizations experience some form of hazing, including things like alcohol consumption, humiliation, and sleep- deprivation.
“The dangers can go as far as having someone stay up all night and then making them drive home or drive you someplace, making them participate in activities that are illegal in the state of Connecticut or at the University of Hartford,” says Director of Student Activities and Greek Life, Felecia Bumpus. She says that the University has resources for students who think they might be experiencing hazing.
“We do have a hazing hotline that students can call. It’s 768-4424. And they can leave an anonymous statement on that phone. We check it every morning to see if there were any types of incidents.”
She says that hazing is not commonly reported at the university, but sometimes when it is, the investigations can be difficult because parents call in to make reports but won’t give much information.
“People won’t give you their name or the name of their son or daughter. They won’t give us the name of the chapter or the chapter letters, or even the colors. It’s really difficult for us to go out and do a witch hunt through 13 organizations.”
Hazing is not only against University policy, but also illegal in the state of Connecticut. Organizations found to be hazing new members can be suspended from recruitment and, in some cases, disbanded.
Students don’t believe in hazing pledges, either.
Student Max Cicchino said “If you’re being hazed as a pledge of any organization, think, do they really care enough about you that you want to be in that fraternity or that organization?”
And student Rachel Welt shared the sentiment. “I think it’s completely pointless. I think it leads to the worst possible outcome, and I just don’t get it, essentially.”
Bumpus says that if a student would not be comfortable discussing the activity with anyone, it could be hazing, and should be reported by calling the university’s Anti-Hazing Hotline at (860) 768-4424. The university also has a website where students can report possible acts of hazing and request more information. That website is http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/antihaze/.