Filming for hazing prevention campaign to begin next week

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership will begin filming a video next week featuring all 17 fraternities and sororities as part of their Herd Doesn’t Haze campaign to promote the prevention of hazing at Marshall University.

“This year there’s a lot more individual aspects; we have the video, we have t-shirts that we’re going to sell, we have different events we’re going to do,” said Mercedez Speight, intern for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership. “It’s going to be (members of the organizations) telling their story throughout the video and just different things about hazing and why the herd doesn’t haze.”

Marshall participates in National Hazing Prevention week which is typically held in September, but they also host their own version during the spring semester. However, director of Student Involvement and Leadership Andy Hermansdorfer wants the campaign to go beyond the two set weeks.

“This campaign is designed to be 365 days a year, so we’re trying to get away from just focusing on one week as to keep it fresh in everyone’s minds the entire year that hazing is harmful, hazing is unnecessary and it’s inconsistent with the values of our fraternities, sororities and our student organizations,” Hermansdorfer said.

Other campaigns have been held in the past, but this year’s campaign focuses on showcasing Marshall’s fraternities and sororities involvement in the community and their environments, according to Speight.

“This effort is a student initiative and it really comes from our fraternity and sorority men and women,” Hermansdorfer said. “There’s more student involvement in what the message will be and how the message will be delivered. They will express their beliefs on hazing and why hazing is unacceptable, why it’s unnecessary and encourage healthy decisions.”

Hazing is illegal according to West Virginia state law and also is against Marshall’s code of conduct. If anyone within any type of Marshall organization is caught hazing, Hermansdorfer said disciplinary action will be taken against them.

“Specifically, for Marshall students and organizations who have chosen to violate our conduct, who have chosen to break the law, the organizations have been shut down and the individuals who were involved have been sanctioned through the conduct office, which is on your academic record permanently,” Hermansdorfer said. “As far as hazing across the country, we know that hazing hurts, it affects students’ ability to succeed academically, it’s dangerous and it’s unnecessary.”

Heather Barker can be reached at [email protected]