The team aims to reduce the frequency of hazing on campus, as well as the severity of dangerous, potentially traumatizing hazing rituals
Tennessee University took action and created a team specifically to explore how to monitor potentially dangerous hazing rituals following several hazing incidents that were publicized across the nation, as well as disciplinary sanctions set on UT’s fraternities due to hazing.
Ten students from the Louisiana’s State University were placed under arrest after a student died during a hazing ritual, and 11 students face criminal charges at the University of Penn State after a similar incident in February.
UT administrators stated that the new team – consisting of staff, faculty, and students – would be an effort to not only target hazing whenever it happens but also to monitor fraternities and discourage hazing before it occurs.
A staff member at the UT’s office handling fraternity and sorority affairs claimed that it would be unrealistic to demand hazing on campus cease completely, but that universities can still attempt to approach the issue proactively.
Although hazing is common to various campus groups of all sorts, it is most associated with fraternities, sororities, and varsity athletics.
UT counts six disciplinary sanctions against fraternities due to hazing
Of the university’s 26 fraternities, four are suspended and another two fraternities are on social probation, with yet another three under disciplinary probation.
Hazing rituals that the university’s team aims to reduce include forcing new recruits into demeaning roles of servitude, encouraging dangerous and excessive alcohol consumption, and demanding sleep deprivation.
The UT anti-hazing team has implemented house directors in all UT fraternity houses and restructuring the office responsible for dealing with fraternity and sorority affairs, intending to ensure the effort to mitigate hazing and reduce unpleasant incidences would be long-term.