After a recent hazing incident at SMU, the director of TCU Fraternity and Sorority Life said she is fortunate to not have to deal with any big hazing problems this year.
Zero hazing crimes have been reported to the university campus police within the past four years, Sgt. Kelly Ham said.
“The hazing cases we have dealt with this year have been what Fraternity and Sorority Life professionals would call ‘little h’ hazing,” Brooke Scogin, director of FSL, said.
She said that “big H” hazing is serious and usually involves forced consumption of alcohol or bodily harm, such as the incident at SMU. “Little h” hazing can still be damaging or uncomfortable for a member, but it is not as serious, she said.
Some examples of “little h” hazing include putting someone on the spot or scavenger hunts with new members, Scogin said.
“Luckily, these are behaviors that we can intersect and stop. Sometimes it is just people not realizing that what they are doing falls into a hazing definition,” she said.
Leah Carnahan, who worked for FSL for 12 years and is now assistant dean of Campus Life, said hazing is often ingrained in a group’s culture and is seen by the group members as “just the way things have always been done.”
Over the past four years, Carnahan said she has seen a decrease in hazing at the university.
However, no official statistics could be released because of confidentiality, Scogin said.
She said hazing awareness and education for students, parents and the campus community has increased through programs like National Hazing Prevention Week. She also said Greek members are working hard to change the culture of their groups.
“More people seem to understand what hazing is and how to report if they are concerned hazing might be occurring,” Carnahan said.
Scogin said sometimes people are worried that hazing is a difficult topic to talk about and that it makes an organization look bad.
Scogin said she disagrees.
“I think that talking about it gets the information out there so that people know what to do if they are experiencing hazing and where to go if they need help so hopefully we do stop it before it becomes that 'big H' hazing and the big stuff that hits the news,” Scogin said.