Information about Hazing
Hazing is defined as “any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which fully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership, in any group or organization, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.”
Both Penn College and the Inter/National Greek Life community have a strict stance on hazing. Hazing is not only against the law, but it is also against the values of Penn College and the fraternities and sororities. All members of the Penn College Greek community will be held to the Pennsylvania Hazing Law and the Penn College Student Code of Conduct. All chapter members and those students involved in the recruitment process are required to sign a no-hazing agreement statement.
If you sense you or someone you know may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, please contact the Student Activities Office 570-327-4763 or file a confidential Anonymous Hazing Report Form.
For more information check out Myths and Facts about Hazing.
Information about Hazing for Parents
Your role as a parent is important as your student decides whether to join a Greek organization. Encourage your student to find out more information about the organization. They can do this by talking with members and attending an informational session or event. Asking questions to gather information about the organization your student is considering will greatly benefit you as a parent, but trust your student will make the best decision for themselves. If your student joins a fraternity or sorority, stay involved by attending chapter or philanthropy events with them. Most importantly, be supportive in your student’s decision. The decision to join a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment with benefits extending far beyond one's college years.
Below is some information parents can use to determine if your son or daughter may be a victim of hazing and/or participating in any illegal pledge activities.
What to Look For
Trust your common sense. If you question the value, safety, or potential negative impact of an activity, then you have the right to express concern and get an explanation. Start by asking your student to explain the requirements the group has your student participate in to become a member. If he/she is resistant or simply will not answer you, then that should be reason for concern.
Is your student engaging in activities meant to earn his/her place with an organization inconsistent with his/her character?
Are the activities your student is engaging in for membership embarrassing or abusive?
Is your student losing weight, sleeping excessively or always tired, avoiding coming home or staying out late, having trouble sitting and/or showing signs of depression?
How to Advise Your Student
If your student is being hazed, he/she might express concern directly to you. In this case, you should do encourage your student to stop participating in any acts of hazing immediately. Try to get as much information you can from your student about the hazing activities, including information on the perpetrators and time and places of events.
Sometimes, your student will downplay hazing by stating "It's not a big deal" or "don't worry about it, I can handle it." You should not accept these common responses and should continue to discourage your student from participating.
If your conversation with your student still leaves you with concern or suspicion of hazing then you need to contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Programming and Greek Life immediately. When reporting these activities, please remain calm and provide as much information as you can. The individual you contacted must collect as much information as possible and may ask a series of questions in order to ensure that the proper disciplinary actions will result.
Hazing may also be reported by submitting a confidential Anonymous Hazing Report Form.