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University of Louisiana System emphasizes anti-hazing measures

Sofia Gilmore-Montero, News Editor

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Hazing is complex; it’s not just physical, and it’s not always obvious.  Hazing can be a psychological thing, manipulation, bullying, or alcohol-related.  Students are usually put in hazing situations to earn rank or status in an organization; rather than simply degrading someone, hazing is meant to force the student to prove himself.

Recently, posters were hung around campus displaying the definition of hazing and giving advice to report hazing to the university administration.

Many UNO administration officials are happy about this new effort to eliminate hazing.  University President Dr. John Nicklow appreciates the attention to the issue.  

“We want all of our students to be able to pursue their passions and interests in a safe, supportive and harassment-free environment, and as such, hazing in any form will not be tolerated at the University of New Orleans,” writes Nicklow in an email to Driftwood.

The Office of Student Affairs plays a vital role in the elimination and advisement on hazing. Natalie Temple, assistant director for student affairs, and LeeAnne Sipe, director of student affairs, said this poster campaign was a reaction to the nationwide incidents concerning hazing.  

“One misunderstanding is that hazing doesn’t just happen in Greek life,” said Sipe.  

“Also, it’s not solvable in a day,” adds Temple.  “We need to work together; it’s a long-term effort.  This will and should continue for many years.”

The Office of Student Affairs urges students to learn organization procedures beforehand so that a student can know if he will be hazed. The University of Louisiana system defines hazing as “any activity expected from those joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of their willingness to participate.”

Sipe sums up the basis of hazing: “It’s really any unfair power differential.”  Some examples are forced drinking, sleep deprivation, cell phone prohibition and personal servitude.  

Marco Perez, the general manager of the UNO Lakefront Arena and the advisor for Lambda Chi Alpha, is proud of the new anti-hazing awareness posters.  

“[Hazing] occurs across a wide spectrum of organizations and clubs at varying degrees,” Perez said in an email. “Hazing occurs in high schools as well as on college campuses.”  

 

Perez says warning signs of hazing can be subtle. They include things such as requiring new members to refer to other members with certain titles or to be treated as second-class status of the group, dress differently from the initiated members, be forced to participate in line-ups, and required to carry certain items, Perez said.

 

Sadly, there are also more extreme cases with more serious signs.  According to Perez, these include sadness or expressions of inferiority, withdrawal from normal activities or friends, and, in examples of physical harm, injuries with odd explanations about how they occurred.  

 

If any students need guidance on the matter of hazing, they are advised to talk to the Office of Student Affairs.  To officially report hazing, students must email the Office of Student Affairs.  

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University of Louisiana System emphasizes anti-hazing measures