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Newsletter > May 2013 > "National Hazing Prevention Week is 365 Days Long"
National Hazing Prevention Week is 365 Days Long
National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) will be observed September 23-27, 2013, but organizer HazingPrevention.Org (HPO) hopes the issue is discussed 365 days a year. This year’s theme for NHPW is “Know. Decide. Act. Only You Can Prevent Hazing,” and the annual observance encourages campuses, communities, and organizations to raise awareness about hazing and hazing prevention.
“NHPW might be technically a week, but our committee works every month of the year,” Allison SwickDuttine, HazingPrevention.Org’s NHPW Committee chairperson, said. “By the time campuses are observing the current week, we’ve chosen the theme and are working on planning materials for the next year.”
Although campuses can observe NHPW any time during the year, annual timing of the “official” event for the last full week of September targets a crucial time, when students are becoming new members of organizations and athletic teams. But there’s little time to plan an observance if you wait until the fall term begins. That’s why HPO encourages planning in the spring prior to the observance, which means the NHPW Committee has to have planning tools ready by then.
This year, HPO released the 2013 NHPW Planning & Product Guide in March and conducted a planning webinar in mid-April, giving campuses and organizations ample time to prep for this September if they wanted to do it early. This is only the second time those planning materials have been available in the spring, and Swick-Duttine predicts more and more campuses and organizations will get into the habit of not procrastinating.
“Not only will early preparation help communities create better observances,” Swick-Duttine said, “but it also puts hazing prevention on their radar more days of the year, and that’s really our goal.”
“Our committee starts working with the official retailer of NHPW products, CampusTshirt.com, right after NHPW ends one year to produce a planning guide that offers ideas, resources, tools and products that organizers can use for their next observance,” Swick-Duttine said.
As the director of fraternity/sorority life and organization development at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Swick-Duttine knows more than a little about the process. SUNY Plattsburgh has consistently observed NHPW for years, using the week to raise awareness and last year, to raise money for HazingPrevention.Org.
“We also know it’s tough to organize a week’s worth of events about hazing and prevention without some help,” she stated. “That’s why we develop these two key planning tools and why we offer them free of charge to anyone who wants them.”
The NHPW Committee creates the content for the Planning & Product Guide. CampusTshirt.com works with the Committee on selecting a sampling of the products people can order with the NHPW logo on them, and designs the downoadable pdf of the publication. The Guide can be accessed at http ://issuu.com/hazingprevention.org/
docs/2013 p p guide final?
NHPW Committee members Sarah Wild, a graduate intern at SUNY Plattsburgh, and Tanya Jordan, a marketing professional who works with her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, discussed the purpose of NHPW, how you can make hazing prevention a year-around effort, and the 10 steps to planning a successful observance in the NHPW planning webinar, “Know. Decide. Act. Only You Can Prevent Hazing.” Wild and Jordan were joined by Susan West and Todd Cox from the Zeta Tau Alpha Award-winning campus hazing prevention and education program at the University of Kentucky. The recorded webinar is available at no charge through the HPOnline Store: http://mis ion.made.com/hazing-prevention/know-decide -act-preparing-for-national-hazing-prevention-week-2013.
In 2012, HPO launched a microsite, www.NationalHazingPreventionWeek.com. The site is designed to provide information, tools, resources, and planning information 365 days a year. It also promotes NHPW contests and awards, products, online anti-hazing pledge campaigns and, opportunities for campuses to raise money for HPO through the Campus FUNdraising Challenge.
“The Campus FUNdraising Challenge encourages campuses to sign up to raise money for HazingPrevention.Org as part of their National Hazing Prevention Week activities,” Charles Hall, executive director of HPO, said. “We want students to drive efforts on their campus to build hazing prevention and education programs unique to their campus environments, and the Challenge gives them that opportunity. They raise money to further the work of HPO’s mission to empower people to prevent hazing while bringing the benefits of an HPO annual Campus Membership to their campus if they raise $1,000 or more,” he said.
“Hazing prevention isn’t just about bringing in a speaker or raising awareness during one week of the year,” Hall said. “The NHPW microsite is one way we hope to keep prevention on the agenda every day of the year on campuses.” The microsite is also where people will be able to access another free resource, the 2013 National Hazing Prevention Week Resource Guide. This digital publication moves past the planning for an observance and into the heart of what NHPW is all about. The Resource Guide features personal stories and articles from students, researchers, student affairs professionals and writers on the topic of hazing.
“Last year, we really streamlined the Resource Guide to make it more user-friendly,” Swick-Duttine said. “It features stories and articles that people can use to launch their own discussions about hazing and prevention. Like our other resources, we hope NHPW makes people download it, but that they use it throughout the year to address prevention in their communities.”
Besides featuring all of the tools and information generated by HazingPrevention.Org, the NHPW microsite also provides links to anti-hazing-related resources offered by other organizations, many who partner with HPO to distribute information to broader audiences.
“We hope that people will visit and revisit the HPO website and the NHPW microsite frequently to access information,” Hall said. “We can’t offer every possible resource ourselves, but we can link to many like-minded organizations so people can find what they’re searching for.”
For more information, visit www.hazingprevention.org and www.nationalhazingpreventionweek.com