By Mohammad Mujahed
Last week, colleges around the country prepared themselves for National Hazing Prevention Week, Sept. 24 through 28.
Multiple student organizations at Youngstown State University helped combat hazing through speaking out and bringing awareness to the issue.
Jaclyn Bionci, president of the Panhellenic Council at YSU, talked about how hazing is a serious problem and how the media showcases it everywhere.
“Hazing is a serious concern that has been portrayed as common from the media through movies, but also something that is occurring way too frequently within other Greek life campuses,” she said.
Bonci also said she approves of YSU’s zero-tolerance policy pertaining to hazing.
“I am very privileged and thankful that YSU has a zero-tolerance policy regarding this situation,” she said. “Our intentions throughout this week was the simple fact to show that hazing is not acceptable in way or any form.”
Zachary Cossack, president of YSU’s Interfraternity Council, said his organization’s main goal is to strictly oppose any form of hazing.
“The primary goal regarding the prevention of hazing is to guarantee the freedom from humiliation and danger of hazing to all current, and future members of YSU’s Greek campus life,” he said.
Cossack also spoke about the health and safety aspect of hazing.
“YSU’s Interfraternity Council unconditionally opposes any behavior that puts the health and safety of its members at risk,” he said. “It is unnecessary and dangerous, which is why our chapters do not participate in these types of acts.”
Bionci said being part of a sorority is about bringing members together and comforting them.
“As sororities, we believe in sisterhood,” she said. “We believe in coming into a sisterhood. That is, you’re home away from home, and it is supposed to be something you’re comfortable in and find your future best friends and future bridesmaids.”
Carrie Anderson, assistant director of student activities, discussed how the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils are working together to educate students and to take a stand during prevention week.
“Our Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils have partnered to host various education activities to raise awareness around the important issue of hazing on college campuses across the country,” she said.
Anderson stressed their main goal is to prevent hazing and division within the organizations due to the issue.
“Brotherhood and sisterhood do not tear people down, they are meant to build people up and support them,” she said.
Bionci said the contribution of the members of the risk council preparation for the week.
“We each have a risk/judicial chair on our council,” she said. “Hannah Elliott and Joe Schroeder have put a lot of time into planning this week and corresponding all of our councils, which is roughly between 300-350 Greeks to participate and promote this week.”
Bionci said she would not want to be a part of a sisterhood that tolerated hazing and other forms of harassment.
“We believe in having chapters on our collegiate campus that have values through love through mutual respect and helpfulness,” she said.