Hazing: A Contradiction to Brotherhood

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is proud to participate in National Hazing Prevention Week during the week of September 23-29, 2018, as part of our ongoing Risk Management Education efforts. In conjunction with HazingPrevention.org, we will take this week to focus on how we can prevent hazing in our lives and our Fraternity. National Hazing Prevention Week is intended to shed light on the harmful effects of hazing while providing meaningful solutions. We each must work to prevent hazing year-round and should have the courage to intervene when we encounter questionable or inappropriate behavior.

If we are to fulfill our mission, we must foster in our members a personal responsibility to eradicate risky behaviors and activities that bring harm to the Fraternity or others. Hazing is a contradiction to the noble ideals and philosophy of our Brotherhood and should not be tolerated. To help prevent hazing from occurring, the Fraternity has taken numerous steps over the past few years to educate our members.

In 2016, Phi Mu Alpha partnered with EverFi to provide our members with an online education course called GreekLifeEdu, which addresses critical issues such as alcohol awareness, sexual assault, and hazing. Throughout this program, students are reminded of their values and strengths and are challenged to consider ways to leverage them throughout different interactive scenarios. As of September 2017, all Probationary Members are required to complete this course before they are even allowed to be initiated.

All collegiate members are required to recommit themselves to our Risk Management Policies annually through our Risk Management Acknowledgment Renewal Process. The process includes a refresher on varying Risk Managment topics and our Risk Management Policies and is the foundation of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity’s commitment to proactive and continuous Risk Management and Risk Management Education for our members. 

We hope that through continued education on the harmful effects of hazing and reinforcement of the Fraternity’s values that we can create a better and safer Fraternity experience.

Hazing Defined

Hazing is defined as any activity or situation that creates fear, mental distress, or undue apprehension in a member; harasses or degrades a members; or an activity in which injuries or threatens to injure a member’s physical or emotional well-being; or any other activities which are not consistent with fraternal ritual or are considered a violation of the policies or regulations of a chapter’s educational institution or state law.

Note: For the purposes of this definition, the term “members” refers to all classes of membership as defined by the current edition of “National Constitution & Bylaws”

#LiveYourOath Challenge

The #LiveYourOath Challenge is a social media campaign designed to show the world that by living our Oath and committing to our values we can avoid the scourge of hazing. As Sinfonians, we cannot and should not tolerate hazing in our own Fraternity, on our campus, or in our communities.

Here is how you can participate in the #LiveYourOath Challenge:

  • Answer the question: “How do you plan to prevent hazing?”
  • Tag 3 Brothers you know to challenge them to do the same.
  • Use #LiveYourOath and #PhiMuAlpha
  • Post to Facebook or Instagram using the National Hazing Prevention Week profile frame

Check out the following example:

NHPW Example

Eric Ardell Smith
Epsilon Phi (Capital University) 2012

“How do I plan to prevent hazing?

As anyone in a position of leadership does, I have a responsibility to those who look up to me for guidance, for empowerment, for permission. I have a responsibility to show others what is and is not acceptable. How can I expect anyone else to speak up against hazing or other inappropriate behavior if I don’t do so myself? I must stand up, even in the face of adversity, and do what is right for my Brothers.

Failing to speak up is just an endorsement of hazing or other inappropriate behaviors. Failing to speak up means that I am not a leader at all. Failing to speak up means that I don’t value my Brothers. Failing to speak up means I don’t value this Fraternity.

Hazing does not teach the lessons of our Fraternity.
Hazing does not teach the power of music.
Hazing does not uplift mankind.
Hazing does not make me a better man.
Hazing does not make me closer to my Brothers.
Hazing doesn’t teach a Probationary Member how to be a Sinfonian.
Hazing does not match the Oath that I took.

So how do I plan to prevent hazing? I plan to speak up, even if it is hard, even if I am alone in doing so, even if I am afraid. By speaking up, I empower others to do so. By speaking up, I’m condemning this behavior. By speaking up, I can stop someone from being abused, hurt, or even killed.

I challenge [Tag 3 Brothers] to share how they plan to prevent hazing and tag 3 Brothers they know to do the same.

#LiveYourOath #PhiMuAlpha