It goes without saying that a fraternity’s undergraduate leaders are their first line of defense in the ongoing battle to prevent hazing. Having an involved and informed undergraduate base can make an incredible difference in inspiring positive changes in chapter culture. Throughout hazing prevention week, Zeta Psi aims to highlight a number of important perspectives in this journey – the undergraduate perspective included.
Today, we’d like to highlight Carlos Garcia – Undergraduate President at Zeta Psi’s Rho Alpha chapter (MIT).
Why is it important that chapters work to prevent hazing?
First of all, hazing creates a negative experience for all members. It doesn’t foster a supportive chapter culture; nobody wants to be associated with people who treat them poorly. On the other hand, nobody should want to haze those they consider to be their friends. These are the people you want to spend your time and create positive memories with.
How does your chapter work to prevent a culture of hazing?
During our chapter meetings, we set expectations for all brothers during events and throughout the new member period. We have a strong sense of community in our chapter, and brothers know what these expectations are. I would recommend to other chapters that they have someone in a leadership role who makes it known that individual brothers can confide in them if they witness something that makes them uncomfortable.
What resources do you have available on your campus to assist in these efforts?
The chapter and alumni are all extremely supportive of these efforts, but outside the chapter the greater IFC community is inclusive and focused on hazing prevention. Additionally, the Division of Student Life has the mission of creating a healthy community, that is hazing free.