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Wright State stands against hazing

WSU Hazing Prevention Week | Photo by Marissa Couch | The Wright State Guardian

WSU Hazing Prevention Week | Photo by Marissa Couch | The Wright State Guardian

“Wright State is a huge advocate for anti-hazing. We believe in building each other up and developing each other professionally instead of tearing each other down,” said senior Beth Metcalf.

Wright State University (WSU) actively participates in anti-hazing activities when it comes to student organizations.

Nov. 4-8 was WSU’s campus-wide hazing prevention week, where Fraternity and Sorority Council (FSC), Student Government Association (SGA), University Activities Board and Student Legal Services held various events to raise awareness of the dangers of hazing.

Metcalf is the director of education for FSC and the director of student affairs for SGA. She was in charge of several events during WSU’s Hazing Prevention Week.

“Hazing is embarrassing someone in any way. Even if it’s funny or seemingly harmless, having anyone do anything that would earn them membership in any organization whether it be serious or not,” said Metcalf. “Even if they’re willing to participate, it doesn’t matter, it’s still hazing. That’s what we want to spread awareness for, once these little things start happening, that’s what leads to bigger problems.”

Hazing can lead to a misdemeanor of the fourth degree in Ohio, according to Ohio revised code 2903.31.

“We care a great deal about the health and wellbeing of all of our students and hazing is very dangerous,” said Program Director of Student Activities Gina Keucher.

If there is speculation of a hazing incident, an investigation will take place through the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership and the Office of Community Standards, according to Dr. Chris Taylor, director of Community Standards and Student Conduct.

“If the results determine that a university policy may have been violated, the matter moves to a hearing by a Conduct Review Panel made up of students, faculty and staff who determine responsibility and if responsible, issue sanctions. Sanctions can range from further education, probation and others up to non-recognition of the organization,” said Taylor. “Other schools have been held liable for failure to properly respond to hazing.”

There have been incidents of hazing in the past at WSU that have been investigated. Organizations have been held accountable when found to have violated university policy.

“One of our strongest methods of prevention is to educate students on what hazing is and how to report it,” said Keucher.

WSU partners with national organizations to educate the university about hazing year-round.