Thursday, April 08, 2010

Major Sorority Takes Steps to Eliminate Hazing

Delta Gamma Launches a Plan to Prevent Hazing

COLUMBUS, OH – April 8, 2010 – In an effort to stop hazing in its tracks, Delta Gamma formed a Social Responsibility Committee, under the direction of Vice President: Programming, Pam Jamieson, inclusive of experts in the field of hazing prevention and higher education. This Committee created our Social Responsibility Strategic Plan - "Anchored in Courage" - to stop hazing in Delta Gamma. This comprehensive plan is grounded in research on bystander behavior, our Fraternity values and data analysis. It infuses bystander behavior and social responsibility throughout the Fraternity operations and programming for all members. It approaches hazing prevention not as an isolated effort but rather as a comprehensive endeavor.

According to Kim Novak, Campus Safety & Student Risk Management Specialist, "The work done by the women on Delta Gamma’s Social Responsibility Committee is particularly interesting because it focuses on prevention of behaviors or activities that are counter to our fraternal values. Using the Public Health approach to multidisciplinary change and prevention will provide our collegians and volunteers with a comprehensive educational experience that we know will make a difference. Delta Gamma is once again leading the fraternal community with cutting-edge work."

National hazing data and Delta Gamma hazing data drives the social responsibility initiatives. Elements of the social responsibility initiatives include:
  • A chapter-facilitated human dignity workshop focused on bystander behavior in the context of fraternity values. In this workshop, students discuss issues of hazing and dignity, debunking misconceived beliefs and attitudes.
  • The GreekLifeEdu online education program which is tailored to each student’s perceptions and behaviors based on their own set of personal experiences.
  • An award - The Courage Award - presented to Delta Gammas and higher education professionals who overcome bystander behavior and foster a culture of social responsibility.
  • An enhanced chapter Honor or Standards Board process that is inclusive of bystander accountability ensuring members held accountable learn and understand how their action or inaction is not congruent with Delta Gamma’s values.
  • Adviser education on hazing, current hazing norms, and Delta Gamma’s response and approach to addressing issues of hazing.
  • A video series – My Sister, My Keeper – that showcases Delta Gamma members overcoming bystander behavior.
  • A comprehensive alcohol program utilizing research conducted by The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Outside the Classroom, an organization committed to strengthening the field of alcohol prevention.
  • Web resources geared towards students and parents that will assist them in identifying, intervening, and reporting hazing.
"Delta Gamma has always been a leader among sororities, and they have been a huge supporter of our work since the beginning," said Tracy Maxwell, Executive Director for HazingPrevention.Org. "I am not surprised that they are leading the way again with their development of a comprehensive plan to prevent hazing within their organization. It is only through these types of sustained and science-based approaches that we will truly make an impact on this problem, and I know this will serve as an excellent example for other organizations to follow suit."

Delta Gamma was the only fraternal group to receive the 2008-2009 Prevention Excellence Award - the highest honor granted by Outside the Classroom for our dedication to the health and safety of our members.

Delta Gamma Fraternity is an international women’s fraternity, headquartered in Columbus,
Ohio, consisting of more than 200,000 members. Delta Gamma’s purpose is to foster high ideals of friendship among women, to promote their educational and cultural interests, to create in them a true sense of social responsibility and to instill in them the best qualities of character. The Delta Gamma Foundation provides resources for educational growth and philanthropic service for all members.

Contact: Erin Huffman, 614-481-8169 , erinh@deltagamma.org