QU Greek life supports Hazing Prevention Week

Jenn Lepore

Photo by Anna Brundage/Chronicle

The noise from side conversations ceased as the lights dimmed in the grand courtroom Wednesday when the documentary “HAZE” began to play as part of Panhellenic Council’s National Hazing Prevention Week.

The showing of the documentary was one of many events that were put on during the week in an attempt by Greek life to raise awareness for hazing.

“I feel as though Quinnipiac University is such a unique community because we do not need to harm our members for them to feel bonded to one another,” Phi Sigma Sigma President Heidi Hitchen said. “I have spoken to women from other communities who have been hazed and it is nothing like anything that I have ever experienced here at Quinnipiac.”

“HAZE” is a documentary featuring the Gordie foundation which funds hazing education according to Sarah Kwalwasser, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and planner of the event.

In late 2004 Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr. (Gordie) was a freshman at the University of Colorado and hoped to become a member of a fraternity on campus. Due to an incident involving alcohol and hazing, Gordie died at the age of 18. The Gordie Foundation was set up in his honor.

The documentary was created in the hope that people would wake up to the hazing crisis that is present on many college campuses across the country.  “HAZE” explains how easily the death of Gordie could have been avoided.

Senior Jordana Centauro, a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, explained how the focus of National Hazing Prevention Week is currently on the Greek population of Quinnipiac, but hopes that it will eventually include other groups that deal with the hazing stereotype in the future.

“Our sororities on this campus have a strict no hazing policy so it’s important to remind people why we don’t haze and why we don’t fit what others see as a typical sorority” Centauro said.

Hazing instills fear in the members of the sorority or fraternity they are hoping to join, Hitchen explained.

“I would never want any of my sisters to be scared of us,” Hitchen said.

The overall sentiment to be understood seemed to be that hazing is not tolerated by the fraternities and sororities here, according to senior and member of Phi Sigma Sigma Jacque Maclearie.

“I think that this event is important because it gives our campus a chance to understand that we have no hazing tolerance,” Maclearie said. “There are not your typical sororities and fraternities here.”