Greek life focuses on anti-hazing


Travis Apgar, Senior Dean of Students at Cornell University, speaks to Kent State greek life members about anti-hazing at the Student Center on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.

Kayla Sturm

Travis Apgar, associate dean of students at Cornell University, spoke to the Greek life community Wednesday in the Kent State ballroom focusing on the seriousness of hazing.

Apgar told the audience how hazing affects people mentally and physically, and the experiences remain with them.

Brotherhood and sisterhood is about trust, Apgar said, which will help sororities and fraternities achieve goals.

Sororities and fraternities should focus on “mutual preference” instead of putting new members to a test of strength through embarrassing someone, Apgar said.

He said sisters and brothers should take care of each other and stop trying to make hazing secretive.

Hazing happens in all schools, no matter the size, Agpar said. Any hazing act can be leaked eventually, despite originally being kept a secret.

Social media is an important role when it comes to uncovering hazing.

“Media has finally caught up to the definition of hazing, and that’s a problem,” Apgar said.

Kent State students said hazing does not happen at Kent State.

James Flanagan, junior educational studies major and member of Kappa Sigma, said, “Our fraternity has a strict no hazing policy, and that’s the point we’ve really driven home to the (new members).”

Hazing is portrayed as people having fun, but some are willing to do anything, Apgar said.

He said Greek life is full of intelligent people and should bring in new members on a mutual preference.

Other key points that Apgar discussed were the importance of leadership, fellowship, scholarship and brother or sisterhood.

“Build on honor,” Apgar said. “If we did all these good things, we can get away from these bad things.”

He said as Greek life focuses on positive ways to prevent hazing, students interested in joining the community should not be discouraged if they think, “I don’t drink much,” or “I don’t want to be hazed,” while going through the recruitment process.

“The people who are here aren’t the problem. I hope the people that are here will take the message back to their chapters and their friends to let them know we are on the same page and working towards the same goal,” said Kat Piascik, vice president of member education on the Panhellenic Council. “We want to promote Greek life in a better light than what the outside community thinks of.”

Kayla Sturm is the greek life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].