Ferris hands don't haze

Hazing—the ridicule or abuse of an individual who is being initiated into a group—has been a problem in society. After reports in the national news of hazing incidents, Ferris is taking a stand to prevent it.

During Hazing Prevention Week on campus last week, tables were set up in the University Center where students could sign to pledge against hazing.

“I think there’s a stereotype that sororities and fraternities have a lot of hazing going on, since it used to be a big problem,” finance senior Megan Ankerson said. “But now that people know what hazing is and the harm that it does, it’s not encouraged or supported.”

Ankerson, a member of Alpha Xi Delta, played a key role during Hazing Prevention Week at Ferris.

“I don’t think Ferris has as big of a problem as some schools,” Ankerson said. “But I do think there are problems with subtle hazing. Being on the rugby team, I’ve seen that even having our new girls pick up the cones and calling them rookies is hazing. A lot of people don’t realize it, but it happens on a lot of teams.”

Ankerson said that the main forms of hazing she’s heard of involve making initiates do certain things to “earn their stripes,” mostly things like excessive drinking.

“The typical hazing incident is organizations who think they are doing something all in good fun or as a simple prank,” said Center for Leadership and Career Services (CLACS) director Angela Roman. “Organizations need to think about how group members may be uncomfortable, how easily a simple joke can turn into a criminal act or how the incident can be perceived by others.”

Ankerson said her sorority Alpha Xi Delta is very vocal about standing up against hazing.

“Hazing doesn’t make you or the new girls better people, it only makes your sisterhood worse,” said Ankerson. “It makes you not trust your sisters. That’s why I love being a part of Alpha Xi Delta, because there’s zero tolerance for hazing and it gives us a very strong bond.”

Ankerson said she was surprised by how many people signed anti-hazing pledges at the Hazing Prevention Tables.

The Ferris community also expressed their stand against hazing on Twitter by including the hashtag #FSUNHPW in their tweets. The student organization or department with the most retweets is in line to receive a prize.

“We require all RSOs to have an anti-hazing statement in their constitution,” said Roman. “We also bring speakers throughout the year to talk to all students about hazing and we have a toll-free hazing report hotline.”

The number for the hotline is 231-591-5300.