Hazing Prevention Week, which will take place from Oct. 15 to 20, is set to feature film screenings, a keynote address from anti-hazing advocate Kathleen Wiant and a $1000 scholarship opportunity — all aimed at educating Kenyon students on the risks and consequences of hazing.
This year’s Hazing Prevention Week — which was planned by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Office of Student Engagement, Greek Council, Kenyon Athletics, Kenyon Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (KSAAC) and the Cox Health and Counseling Center — will encourage all students to become informed on the dangers of hazing with a variety of campus events and giveaways. The week follows efforts to restructure and intensify the College’s anti-hazing programming in recent years; in 2018, Kenyon began requiring all active Greek life members to attend yearly anti-hazing training. According to Senior Director of Campus Life James Jackson, all students will now also be required to read and sign a Hazing Attestation Form regardless of their affiliation with Greek life.
A central component of the upcoming week will be a keynote address from Wiant, mother of Ohio University student Collin Wiant, who passed away in 2018 as the result of fraternity-affiliated hazing. Following her son’s death, Wiant became a prolific advocate for anti-hazing education and policy making. In addition to speaking out against hazing on Dr. Phil and ABC News, Wiant lobbied for the creation and passing of Collin’s Law: Ohio’s Anti-Hazing Law, under which hazing is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. Wiant’s keynote address, which will take place on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall, is mandatory for all active Greek life members.
According to Vice President of Student Affairs Celestino Limas, the primary goal of Hazing Prevention Week is to prevent hazing incidents by bringing as much attention to the issue as possible. “The prevention aspect is always going to be something that the College is working diligently on,” he said in an interview with the Collegian. “I frankly am grateful that our students take it so seriously and their attention is always very focused on making sure that we can have anti-hazing education out there as much as possible.”
In addition to the keynote address, the week will feature an Oct. 16 film discussion led by Beta Theta Pi and an “Assist with Preventing Hazing” volleyball game on Oct. 18. In giveaways throughout the week, students will have the chance to receive free hazing prevention shirts, buttons and stickers, designed by Colter Murphy ’26 of Delta Tau Delta. All students will also be asked to sign a form affirming their commitment to the College’s anti-hazing policy, which strictly prohibits forced consumption of alcohol, tests of physical endurance, sleep deprivation and more.
Beyond the week’s structured events, students who are passionate about anti-hazing advocacy can submit an essay responding to several prompts regarding courage, hazing and personal convictions by Oct. 16 for the opportunity to receive $1000 from the Collin Wiant Foundation. Winners will be chosen by the foundation’s board and announced at the keynote address on Oct. 17. “The Collin Wiant Foundation Courage Scholarship challenges students to gain a deeper understanding of courage by writing an original and creative essay demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of courage,” a statement on the scholarship from the Office of Student Engagement read. “While hazing is perpetuated by groupthink and the code of silence, it can be eradicated through courage.”