Dear students, faculty and staff members,
During National Hazing Prevention Week in September, I shared with you that we were reviewing our policies and stepping up our efforts against hazing.
In the past six months, we’ve made progress with our Greek-letter organizations. For example, in addition to existing University efforts, an interactive risk management seminar and an Interfraternity Council summit have been slated on campus this spring. Also, several organizations have participated in training by their international headquarters’ staff.
Several members of our Student Engagement staff and Student Rights and Responsibilities staff will attend a Hazing Prevention Institute in June in Baton Rouge.
Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Cottonham and I offered support, along with colleagues from around the state, in agreement with Louisiana legislators who crafted two state bills. One bill by Rep. Nancy Landry of Lafayette proposes to toughen criminal penalties for individuals convicted of hazing. Rep. Franklin Foil’s bill would protect the identity of students who report threatening behaviors, including hazing.
Education and enforcement are both important to halt hazing. Everyone from alumni, to parents, to students, to faculty and staff members must stand unified against inappropriate behavior.
I am encouraged by the conversations across our campus, the state and the nation that convey the need to eliminate hazing in any form. Let’s work together to turn words into actions.
Dr. Joseph Savoie