Q&A: SA promoting National Hazing Prevention Week awareness


Michael Agro (left), Student Association director of Athletics, and Jackie Keith, interim director of Greek Affairs, talks to Shiza Ratakomda, senior mechanical engineering student, about SA events for National Hazing Prevention Week on Monday in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commons.

By Alexander Chettiath

This week marks National Hazing Prevention Week, and the Student Association is making sure students are aware of it by setting up an information station in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commons.

Three fraternities — Kappa Alpha Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Pi — and one sorority — Sigma Lambda Gamma — have been suspended for hazing, according to Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

The station is run by Michael Agro, SA director of Athletics and Jackie Keith, interim director of Greek Affairs.

Q: What inspired SA to set up this station?

A: The biggest thing is that because the SA is the voice of the students, we just want to make a change on campus. A lot of the times in the past, colleges get a really bad stigma for hazing and a lot of our organizations on campus get that. People think athletics haze, the marching bands haze and Greeks haze. The biggest thing for the SA is that we represent the students and show that hazing isn’t something that we tolerate here. We just always want to make sure that we’re showing the world that our students are leaders, and we want to make sure that we are not doing things that make our students uncomfortable.

Q: How do you feel NIU handles hazing?

A: I think the school has done an amazing job preventing hazing and handling those situations. NIU has a zero tolerance anti-hazing policy. When they even get a whiff of hazing, they bring it straight to conduct. Even if it is just a rumor, they want to squash it. I think the campus really handles it well.

Q: What is your agenda for the week?

A: Monday: Informing students on National Hazing Prevention Week until 2 p.m. in MLK Commons

Tuesday: Bystander Intervention Training

Wednesday: Showing a documentary and paired up with Safe Passage, and they are going to help facilitate conversations about what is happening in the news. They are also going to tie it in with sexual assault, emphasizing ‘If you see something, say something’ because, unfortunately, hazing can be sexual assault.

Thursday: Team building Activities, paired up with Public Safety on campus, and we are going to do some facilitation to show students that you can have fun without hazing people

Friday: Back in MLK Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. wrapping up the week, having people sign the pledge and handing out T-Sshirts.