MARAIS JACON-DUFFY | News Editor
Posters saying “Don’t Haze Me Bro” and “No Excuses” could be seen all over Butler’s campus, as Greek chapters observed National Hazing Prevention Week last week.
Hazing prevention week is typically held the first week of September, but Butler Greek Life decided February would be more appropriate for a school that holds recruitment during second semester, Director of Greek Life Becky Druetzler said.
“This was something that the current officers really wanted to champion,” Druetzler said.
Butler’s Panhellenic Council and Interfraternal Council have utilized social media, posters and buttons, and chapter meetings to bring up statistics, and asked houses to sign anti-hazing pledges.
Sophomore Alpha Chi Omega member Jenna Gerber said she feels her chapter is very aware of what is considered hazing.
“Especially now with new members in the house, we always try to make sure that nothing we say or do could make a new member feel bad or anything,” Gerber said. “It can be something as little as what you do or don’t say, but I think our chapter is really good about informing us as to what hazing actually is and how we can make sure nothing we do or say could be interpreted negatively.”
Druetzler said hazing is a topic brought up in discussion with Greek house leaders at all points of a semester.
Chapter presidents met with Druetzler to discuss hazing, among other things, before recruitment began in January. Druetzler said hazing workshops for new members could happen in the future.
Druetzler described hazing as a dynamic, not necessarily an action, that puts one group in a position of power and leverages that power to make another group feel they need to please them to belong.
Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson said hazing policies are applicable to any group or organization, not just Greek life.
“Colleges that don’t have Greek life still have anti-hazing policies,” Johnson said. “Sports teams, workplaces, even houses where groups of people live have had instances where a group is hazed.”
Kristina Traxler vice president of conduct for Butler’s Panhellenic Council, said the group tried to include all students and groups in anti-hazing efforts. The group chose not to include Greek letters on its Hazing Prevention Week banner that students signed outside Starbucks last week.
“A lot of non-Greek students signed the banner,” Traxler said. “Which is cool, because this applies to them just as much.”
Traxler said she thinks cooperation among all Greek houses would help defer hazing practices.
“As much as I want to believe hazing doesn’t happen, I know that it probably does in some ways,” Traxler said. “I think students get so caught up in the stereotypes of each house and get so set on being accepted by a specific house or a group within a house that they would do anything to belong.”
Traxler, a Greek student, said she does not believe hazing helps the Greek system or Greek houses in any way.
“I’ve heard some people argue that you can’t have sisterhood or brotherhood without hazing,” Traxler said. “I definitely don’t think that’s true. Making someone feel bad about themselves or uncomfortable—that’s not what sisterhood and brotherhood is about.”
Druetzler and Johnson said any students who feel upset due to treatment from their organization can always come to student affairs or Greek life, among other resources listed in the student handbook.
“I understand that expressing something like this is difficult,” Druetzler said. “People will always wonder, ‘What’s going to happen to me if I tell?’ Or they think, ‘No one is going to believe me.’ But no case will be dismissed. We do take hazing very seriously.”