This week in Greek

By Kayla Bonar

This past week Washington State University’s Greek community was busy with National Hazing Prevention Week in full swing and participating a fundraiser over the weekend to support the new WSU medical school in Spokane.

To help initiate conversations on social media about hazing, the Greek community at WSU created the hashtag #WSUHandsDontHaze during National Hazing Prevention Week.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, members of the Greek community gathered in Todd Auditorium to listen to Kimberly Novak, CEO of NovakTalks, speak about the effect hazing has had on Greek communities at universities nationwide.

“Fraternities and sororities are values-based, membership development organizations that focus on building brotherhood and sisterhood through character enhancement, leadership development, academic achievement, commitment to service, life-long friendship and social experiences,” Novak said.

Hazing contradicts the important values that are unique to the Greek community and which shape each chapter’s identity, Novak said.

Novak referred to a study conducted with the Greek communities at Cornell in 2005 by Shelley Campo of the University of Idaho. Campo’s research revealed that a large determining factor among students who participated in hazing activities was the belief that their friends approved of their actions.

Following the talk, attendees participated in a Walk of Remembrance to Ruby Street Park, carrying posters with pictures of students from across the nation who have died as a result of hazing.

According to Parker Gross, vice president of InterFraternity Council (IFC), well more than 300 students were in attendance.

Zak Cherif, president of the IFC at WSU, said Novak has been a key part of WSU’s National Hazing Prevention Week for about three years.

Taylor Christenson, Panhellenic president at WSU, said her favorite part of the week was meeting with the most influential members of chapters within both the IFC community and the Panhellenic community to have an open dialogue with Novak to discuss specific actions that WSU can take to improve risk management within the Greek community.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, the Greek community rallied together at Ruby Street Park for the fundraising event Greek Row for E-Flo. Tickets were sold to attendees for carnival games and chances to win prizes. More than 10 different chapters set up tables. All of the money that was raised at the event will be donated to the new medical school in Spokane.

In addition, the Greeks partnered with South Fork. Its food truck was present at the event, and a percentage of the food sold will also be donated..

IFC and Panhellenic are still in the process of calculating how much money they raised on Saturday.