For the first time since the fall of 2019, the College is observing Hazing Prevention Week in an effort to protect the safety of all students who choose to join a Greek organization following spring recruitment. This week is sponsored by the Greek Council, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Office of Student Engagement, Kenyon Athletics and the Kenyon Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (KSAAC). Events have included daily tabling in Peirce Dining Hall by members of these groups, a keynote address and a film discussion.
This year’s Hazing Prevention Week comes after the passage of Collin’s Law, an anti-hazing bill signed by Ohio Governor Mike Dewine in 2021, as well as the sentencing of five Bowling Green State University fraternity students for their role in a hazing-related death. Collin’s law implemented standards for defining, reporting and punishing hazing.
Greek Council President Rocco Danese ’23 sees Hazing Prevention Week as an opportunity for the College to have a more open conversation about the risks and penalties associated with hazing. “Although Kenyon has done well with hazing in the past, the passing of Collin’s Law in Ohio adds improved systems for ensuring that all members of Greek life are safe and enjoying their time,” he said.
CEO of Dyad Strategies Dr. Gentry McCreary’s keynote address on Tuesday night focused on dispelling popular myths regarding hazing on college campuses. McCreary touched on the psychological effects of hazing on both victims and perpetrators and stressed that the tradition of hazing is often perpetuated by those who experience it. McCreary also emphasized that hazing is not exclusive to Greek organizations and that it regularly occurs in other social groups such as sports teams. However, McCreary believes that just one person can make a difference and prevent hazing in their group. “Be big enough to take a stand in your chapter,” he said. “You’re going to make a better experience for your members and ultimately a better group.”
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, as well as members of Greek Council, believe it is important to educate people on their rights and responsibilities in maintaining a safe and inclusive space for everyone. Elle Sommer ’25, the director of risk management for Greek Council, is hoping to create an environment where all students can participate without the fear of being hazed. “By talking more about how hazing looks different on a small campus than it does a big one, I think we can begin to work towards a haze-free future,” she said.
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