Ohio University recently suspended several fraternities, sororities and groups associated with the university for hazing-related violations.

Ohio University released a statement on its website stating “we take every hazing allegation seriously,” in regards to the Cease and Desist orders the university issued to three sororities and one Interfraternity Council fraternity chapters. Within the month of October, Ohio University suspended 17 IFC fraternities and the rugby team.

“We’re fortunate to not see some of the issues other universities have seen, like Ohio University,” City of Kent Lieutenant Michael Lewis said.

The most recent brush with hazing at Kent State took place in 2013. In 2013, Kappa Alpha Psi Gamma Tau chapter was suspended for hazing and other violations. The fraternity was suspended and not seen as a campus organization again until May of 2016, according to a KentWired article.

The Kent Stater reached out to the men in Kappa Alpha Psi, all of whom declined to answer.

Last week, Fraternity and Sorority Life at Kent State hosted Hazing Prevention Week. According to Kent.edu, Kent State is ranked as one of the safest colleges in Ohio. 

Kent State’s anti-hazing culture was shown during the investigation on Fraternity Circle and the events leading up, when the students and members of FSL came together to protect one another, according to an anonymous source. 

Kent State defines hazing as “any action or situation intentionally created, whether on or off university premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule,” according to the Kent State University Policy Register

Members of any Kent State registered groups, teams or associations are prohibited from engaging in hazing or will otherwise be charged with a violation of the code of student conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action, according to the Kent State University Policy Register. 

“Hazing Prevention Week brings the community together and reminds us of our promises we made in our rituals to be brothers or sisters to each other,” an anonymous source said, who has been involved in fraternity and sorority life for over two years. “Brothers and sisters don’t haze, we protect each other.”

During Hazing Prevention Week, which is hosted by FSL, there were two public speaking events. Dan Faill spoke on Oct. 15 and Kent State Police Officer Tricia Knowles talked to FSL members on Oct. 17.

Faill discussed “the intersectionality of alcohol and consent,” he said in an email after the event. 

Officer Knowles discussed Halloween, alcohol and party safety during her event. “Our students, typically, are not the ones who get in trouble,” she said.

An anonymous source said aside from Hazing Prevention Week, Kent State’s Greek council puts together a retreat for new pledge classes to have a safe, dry day that promotes unity and the correct way to educate new pledges. 

National Hazing Prevention Week is organized by HazingPrevention.Org. National Hazing Prevention Week is an opportunity for campuses and schools to raise awareness, educate others, and promote the prevention of hazing, according to HazingPrevention.org

If anyone is a victim of hazing, they are encouraged to call Kent State Police at 330-672-3070. 

Contact Samantha Simcox at ssimcox4@kent.edu.

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