National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) is a national week aiming to promote the prevention of hazing organized by HazingPrevention.org. This national week is a chance for colleges and universities among the nation to spread awareness about the problem of hazing. NHPW strives to educate students and faculty about hazing and how to spot warning signs.
NHPW is an annual event that happens at the end of every September. This year, Longwood University’s NHPW fell on September 24-28.
At Longwood University, the NHPW was put on by Longwood’s Order of Omega society.
Order of Omega is an honorary undergraduate Greek society which recognizes both Greek men and women who have personally attained a high standard of leadership skills and high grade point averages. The top three percent of people in the Greek organizations at Longwood are members of Order of Omega. Therefore, this is a distinguished group with reputable Greek members.
The members of Order of Omega are students who are in good standing within their organization and have maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
“(Order of Omega) plans and executes NHPW, Greek week, and Greek awards,” Tessa DeWalt, Secretary of Order of Omega said. “Greek awards recognize scholars and leaders within Greek life and organizations while simultaneously providing opportunity for growth as well.”
Although NHPW is only one week per year, Longwood Greek life strives through each of their organizations and through Order of Omega to spread awareness about hazing and to uphold the hazing laws and values of the organizations every single day.
According to HazingPrevention.org, not only does NHPW target fraternity and sorority life, but it also intends to educate students, parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, athletic directors, performing arts directors, resident advisors (RAs), student government leaders, community members, organization leaders, and campus police.
Throughout all the events, 100 athletes attended while 500 Greeks attended, as stated by Victoria Allen, Vice President of Order of Omega.
On a national level, people are able to donate on hazingprevention.org and take an online pledge against hazing.
At Longwood, special hazing prevention events were held every day during the Hazing Prevention Week.
On Monday, Sept. 24th, a What to Expect When You’re Expecting to be Initiated event took place. According to DeWalt, chapter representatives from fraternity and sorority life shared their individual information on the new member process and what prospective students who would like to go Greek should expect. There were 33 attendees in total, according to Allen.
“Ideas about hazing prevention were bounced around between different organizations,” DeWalt said.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25th, David Westol, founder of Limberlost Consulting came to Longwood University to give a speech regarding his knowledge and perspective about hazing, risk management, values, ideals, and leadership.
“All the Greek organizations and sports teams were required to attend this event, there were 724 people in total. David Westol discussed the overall picture of how change needs to be done to make organizations better and that there are many things that are considered hazing even if someone doesn’t think its hazing,” DeWalt said.
On Wednesday, Sept. 26th, Soup and Substance took place. This casual event had 36 members of different campus organizations while eating lunch and engaging in open conversation about hazing prevention and education. Thursday, Sept. 27thheld a roundtable discussion on the awareness of the distinction between traditions and hazing. This session aimed to answer the question, “At what point do traditions become too much?” and 60 people attended this event.
“Larry Robertson talked about how change needs to be done even if you don’t think there needs to be change,” DeWalt stated.
Lastly, on Friday, Sept. 28th, there was an opportunity to sign the hazing prevention banner. There were many participants, 67 people in total signed the hazing prevention banner.
Order of Omega had an extremely successful NHPW and looks forward to planning the same NHPW events next year.