Awareness of hazing heightens

In the wake of the demise of Maxwell Gruver, a freshman at Louisiana State University, due to potential fraternity hazing, Greek life around the nation has been shaken. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has reached out to educate fellow members on this issue in a program at the Pennington Student Activity Center.

With a slogan “These Pearls Don’t Haze,” the sorority, led by President Jessica Lewis and alumni members of the chapter Kristin Robair and LaRobyn Houston, started an open discussion on hazing during the event. The event was attended by students in Greek organizations and was overseen by grad advisor Phyllis McCraney.

“Our national office sent out a request that all of our sorority members participate and encourage the public to participate in National Hazing Prevention Week, which was this week,” said Houston. “That’s when we set out to plan a program that would draw attention to the dangers of hazing.” 

The event had a presentation among the attendees regarding some of the myths, examples and prevention of hazing.

“I believe that me being in the sorority, it should have a zero tolerance policy on hazing,” said Robair. “It should not be tolerated in any shape, form or fashion.”   

Houston described the policies her sorority has against hazing.

“Absolutely, 100 percent safe,” said Houston. “As we mentioned in the presentation, our sorority has a zero tolerance standpoint on hazing.”

She also suggested some tips for prevention against hazing.

“Some of the prevention on hazing is to always do your research,” said Houston. “Look up the Louisiana law statutes on it, look up the organization’s anti-hazing policy and also the institutional policy on hazing. Basically in Louisiana, hazing is a misdemeanor and it can escalate to felony.”  

The aftermath of the tragic death of Gruver has led to officials reviewing their policies. Governor John Bel Edwards released a letter to the state’s higher education system presidents Thursday urging the institutions to review their hazing, drug and alcohol abuse policies.