Marywood promotes inclusion with strict no-hazing policy

Marywood promotes inclusion with strict no-hazing policy

Paul Capoccia, Community Editor

Marywood’s hazing policy is simple: it can not happen.

There have been a rash of national Greek Life scandals in the news recently, from the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s racist chant video on a bus, to Penn State fraternity Kappa Delta Rho’s Facebook photo scandal of semi-nude and nude women. Hazing and the role of fraternities and sororities on campuses across America has surely been the topic of conversations among administrations across the nation.

Callie Frieler, director of student activities and leadership development, summed up Marywood’s policies on hazing for students, staff, faculty, and administration simply.

“There is a strict no-hazing policy here [at Marywood]. It is never acceptable in any situation,” said Frieler.

Whenever there are reported cases of hazing on Marywood’s campus, the ruling process ultimately goes through Ross Novak, director of housing and residence life. When students are involved in a group in a reported case of hazing, the process then will start with Frieler, as it falls under her jurisdiction as director of student activities, before reaching Novak. For hazing among staff and faculty, any judiciary process would be handled by Dr. Patricia Dunleavy, associate vice president for Human Resources.

Frieler explained that hazing often can arise in situations where there is an exclusiveness to an organization, like in marching bands, honor societies, sororities and fraternities, and sports teams. For example, when new members are initiated into a group, they are often asked to prove their worth in order to belong.

To prevent hazing, Frieler holds workshops for leadership and all current members of any exclusive clubs, like sororities.

Kelly Paukovits, senior art therapy major and president of sorority Zeta Phi Delta, explained how she and her entire sorority post anti-hazing information on social media frequently and always reassure students, faculty, and recruits that it is not something that is a part of their sisterhood.

“I don’t think there is anything beneficial about making someone do something that is detrimental to their health, and I think a lot of girls in the sorority feel the same way,” Paukovits said about hazing.

While the group does have secret initiation traditions, all of their activities are discussed and approved by SAC, both to prevent hazing and to find the best possible ways to include new members while making them aware of the responsibilities and knowledge each current member holds.

Samantha Czerwonka, senior hospitality management major and Zeta Phi Delta treasurer, echoed Paukovits’ point about inclusion.

“We do these [rituals] with them, that’s the biggest thing. It’s a give and take system,” explained Czerwonka. “The thing people have to understand about hazing, [is that] when you exclude people from the group, it’s no longer bonding; you are then setting them apart.”

Lindsey Crean, sophomore English and secondary education major and member of Zeta Phi Delta, also stressed how hazing really goes against that for which a sorority or fraternity should stand.

“Participating in Greek life is kind of like finding another family, and you can’t expect someone to find the level of trust, love, and respect that you get out of a family through hazing.”

Contact the writer: [email protected]