Friday, September 18, 2009

UNLV Takes Stand Against Hazing

Screening combats hazing
By Mark Adams

UNLV’s Office of Civic Engagement is taking a stand.

The office will be showing “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” an anti-hazing video, on September 22, as part of campus efforts to promote National Hazing Prevention Week, which kicks off on Sept. 20.

The film tells the story of Scott Kreuger, an MIT student who died as a result of hazing. UNLV faculty, staff and students will lead a panel discussion following the video.

“The goal of the program is to support National Hazing Prevention Week and to educate UNLV students about what constitutes hazing,” said Jeanine Menolascino, graduate assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The video will address how Greek students can combat abuse within fraternity and sorority organizations and create awareness regarding hazing on campus, Menolascino explained.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in an interactive panel discussion after the short film. Attendees are encouraged to discuss major issues and ask questions regarding campus hazing.

“I think it’s actually a really good video,” said UNLV Alpha Tau Omega president Jordan Fischette. “It seems to get the word out to students.”

Fischette explained, “[The movie] tells real life stories of people who have been affected by hazing and alcohol,” adding that the film takes a more realistic approach to the topic than alternative videos, which he said solely point to facts.

The film was once a component of “Greek 101,” an educational program mandatory for all new members of Greek organizations at UNLV. The video has been replaced in this year’s program by alternate hazing education.

“Hazing was a severe issue in our chapter,” said Fischette, “[but] hazing is not just a Fraternity and Sorority Life issue.”

Fischette said that his fraternity has reported and disciplined members who have participated in hazing practices. UNLV has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing and defines it as “any physical or mental act that puts a person in a stressful or dangerous situation.”

According to the UNLV Get Involved Web page, “Hazing can manifest itself in many different ways and it is usually hard to detect since the participants are usually willing to be subjected to these juvenile and sometimes dangerous acts.”

“[Although] UNLV has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hazing,” Menolascino said, “this is not to say that it has not occurred on our campus.”

“Anywhere people meet and are gathering… [there] is a potential for hazing,” said Fischette.

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