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Hazing Prevention Week to promote respect, compassion

Cornell will dedicate its National Hazing Prevention Week activities, taking place Sept. 20-24, to the memory of Antonio Tsialas ’23, who died October 24, 2019. Through virtual resources and in-person programs, partners from across campus will bring attention to the topic and empower the Cornell community to speak out against all forms of hazing in all campus activities.

“No student should ever have to face physical or emotional harm for the sake of joining an organization that is supposed to stand for brotherhood or sisterhood,” said Ashley Acosta ’22, president of the Multicultural Greek and Fraternal Council.

Students from across campus – including those involved in sorority and fraternity life, student organizations, athletics teams and residential life – will engage in activities to raise awareness about hazing, including resources developed by university partners exploring how to recognize and speak out against hazing.

“We want students to take ownership to create a process that is safe and adds value to the membership experience, as well as to encourage them to stand up against anything that is not in alignment with those values,” said Kara McCarty Miller, Robert G. Engel Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life. “This annual celebration is a poignant way to honor Antonio’s legacy.”

The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life will invite Cornell students to participate in a variety of hazing prevention programs. Initiatives will include taking the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives’ new Canvas Course “How to Recognize and Respond to Hazing” and an online hazing prevention pledge. Residential advisers will share anti-hazing information at residence halls and provide opportunities for students to share the ways they prevent hazing. Cornell students will also be given the opportunity to show their support for hazing prevention efforts though messages displayed on the Arts Quad Sept. 24.

The week’s activities are designed to foster a culture that promotes respect, compassion and dignity of new and returning members of groups, teams and organizations, and the importance of working to prevent hazing. “Being the first person to call out peers when something is uncomfortable creates a domino effect through which we protect all our community members,” said Patrick Mehler ’23, a member of the pre-law fraternity Kappa Alpha Pi.

Cornell student organizations, athletics teams, sororities and fraternities are also invited to apply for funding to provide innovative, safe and fun opportunities to help incorporate the newest members into their organizations in healthy and supportive ways. And later this semester, the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life will host a motivational discussion for students with families impacted by hazing.

Visit hazing.cornell.edu for hazing prevention resources or to report hazing on campus.

Elizabeth Hartman is a writer for Student and Campus Life.

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Abby Butler