Giving Hazing the Boot


Taylor Isaac, Student Reporter

No Bull Tuesday spurred students to participate in a bull riding competition on campus. The event, hosted by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, was the first of many promoting National Hazing Prevention Week. 

The theme “Giving Hazing the Boot” aims to raise awareness against the dangerous practice of manipulating fraternity and sorority pledges into doing humiliating or endangering behaviors in order to gain membership.

The Interfraternity Council at Marshall stands strongly against the practice of hazing. IFC’s vice president of programming Rhys Shamblin says he hopes that hosting events such as the bull riding competition will help steer frat culture into a safer, more inclusive path. 

“Hazing takes advantage of people’s trust and can ruin their lives,” Shamblin said. “We want to do our part to stop hazing before it starts and to build back trust in fraternity culture.”

Students lined up around the Memorial Student Center fountain Tuesday evening for a chance to ride the mechanical bull. While most people lasted less than 10 seconds atop the ride, Shamblin said it was a fun way to bring light to such a serious topic.

In addition to the bull riding contest, IFC has teamed up with the Panhellenic Council to host an entire week full of anti-hazing programming. 

“We are very excited to be hosting a kKickball cCompetition at 6 p.m. on Friday. It is a $10 entry fee per team, and all proceeds benefit the Harrison Kowiak Scholarship.” 

The scholarship is in honor of Harrison Kowiak, who passed away in 2008 after participating in a hazing ritual for his fraternity. His mother, Lianne Kowiak, has become a proud anti-hazing advocate and was featured as a guest speaker during FSL’s discussion Wednesday night. 

“If you see something—say something,” Kowiak said. “You have the choice to stand up if you witness someone being hazed. You can save someone’s life.”