Each semester brings exciting opportunities for involvement and leadership in campus and community organizations, such as fraternities, sororities, selective living groups, and non-residential groups. For some organizations, a new member period—sometimes referred to as pledging—occurs as new members join the group.
During this busy time, we would like to remind you of Duke’s commitment to a hazing-free environment. Hazing is described as any activity (regardless of a person’s willingness to participate) that is harmful or potentially harmful to yourself or others. Participants sometimes characterize it as a “rite of passage” to gain full membership in an organization.
For the full university policy, please see http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/dos/hazing. Questions you may ask yourself to assess the appropriateness of an activity include:
- Is it an activity that all members (current and initiates) can engage in together?
- Would you want a parent, dean, or judge to witness the activity?
- Does the activity cause mental anguish or physical discomfort? Is it demeaning or embarrassing?
- Does the activity have inherent values in and of itself?
Should you learn of or encounter a questionable activity, here are ways to meet your obligation under the Duke Community Standard:
- If there is an immediate safety issue, please contact Duke Police by dialing 911 (from a campus phone) or 919-684-2444.
- Speak up! Challenge the group members on the appropriateness of the activity.
- Call the university’s Hazing Hotline at 919-684-5766, 24-hours a day. You may leave a confidential voice mail describing the situation. You may remain anonymous if you wish.
- Report the activity to the Dean of Students Office at 919-668-3853
- File an incident report at http://www.dukejams.com
Both individual students and the groups they represent may be held accountable through the university’s disciplinary process for violations of the Hazing Policy. Individual violations are noted on a student’s disciplinary record and are reportable to internal and external constituencies. Group violations may limit an organization’s activities and place its recognition by Duke in jeopardy.
Next week Duke is pleased to sponsor Hazing Prevention Week. Events include “A Conversation on Hazing” on Tuesday, January 29 at Keohane Atrium at 6 PM; “Do Something!” bystander intervention training for students at the Duke Student Wellness Center Classroom (Crowell Hall, East Campus) from noon – 1 PM, and a special event to be announced for Friday. Follow #HPW2013 on Twitter to keep up with the events and join the conversation!
In closing, the University values the contributions of its groups and their members. Being a member of a campus or community group can offer innumerable rewards. However you choose to get involved, we hope you will make good decisions that will reflect positively on your participation. Please let us know how we may support you. And follow all the Hazing Prevention Week informatioin on twitter @DukeHPC.
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Associate Dean of Students
Director, Office of Student Conduct