Lifestyles Center Blog

SURVIVOR SERIES: REDO TEAM BUILDING WITH YOUR ORGANIZATION

The first thing I would like to say is welcome back. With that, I wish winter break was longer. With the start of a new semester, everyone is eager to start classes and to make new friends and with meeting new people or organizations, there may be activities that you should not take part in, but may be forced into. Consider hazing, these activities include any actions or situations that intentionally cause embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule and risk the emotional and/or physical well-being of members of a group or a team.  Whether new to the organization or a returning member, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate, hazing is an issue.   There are many organizations (outside of the typically noted sorority or fraternity) that use hazing as a way to bond their group together.  Here are a few tips on how you can be the difference in your organization and change what is often noted as “tradition.”

  1. Pick Up An Intermural Sport With Your Organization. A good alternative to hazing would be in participating in intramural sports.  You not only have fun while playing a sport, but your bond with your fellow organization members will only strengthen through the activity. It’s healthy and beneficial. It allows you a chance to avoid and plan around harmful activities while you prepare to address them.
  2. Do a Community Service Project. The whole organization can participate in a community service project where everyone is involved and benefitting those around them. Not only does the organization get to better their community, but their bonds only become stronger doing something that feels as good inside as it does out.
  3. Have an Entertainment Night. Have a night devoted to a certain activity; like a talent show, scavenger hunt, game night, or movie.  This helps new members do something fun- like showcasing a talent- while also helping everyone feel more included and socially comfortable. Growing closer through positive activities avoids embarrassment caused by hazing.
  4. Have a meal together: While getting to know the chapter of your organization, you could go for dinner with the all of the members. Have a potluck and offer the chance for everyone to bring their favorite foods together under one delicious roof.
  5. Do a presentation on the organization: This not only helps the newcomers learn the organization’s history, but also allows pride for it to build. It also helps them learn the core values of the group and what they represent.

One class of newcomers can change “tradition.”  It only takes a couple of people within an organization to change it. Hazing is no different. You may be surprised by how many people are not okay with hazing and it will make a difference if it is brought into the conversation.

For more information on hazing: https://deanofstudents.umich.edu/article/what-hazing  and http://hazingprevention.org/home/hazing/facts-what-hazing-looks-like/  and http://www.babson.edu/student-life/community-standards/hazing/Pages/alternatives-to-hazing.aspx

Photo Cred: No to Hazing

Written by Peer Educator, Emily Cooley