UK Greek members asked to pledge against hazing


The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on Aylesford Place on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Adam Pennavaria | Staff

Elle Smith

Everyone has heard the horror stories of tragic results from hazing incidents, ranging from minor to fatal infractions.

Because this week is National Hazing Prevention Week, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Susan West is asking Greek members to take the Hazing Prevention Pledge.

According to West’s email to all Greek students, hazing at UK is defined as “any action or situation created by a member of the university community against another member of the university community for the purpose of affiliation with a group or organization that is negligent or reckless in nature; or is humiliating or endangers an individual; or unreasonably interferes with scholastic or employment activities.”

Hazing is a sensitive subject after recent events at other universities like at Penn State University, where events led to a fraternity man’s death, according to the Washington Post.

“What character do you have to do that to another human being? It feeds into the stereotype that fraternities and sororities are bad groups of people, and that is not true,” Maddie Cook, sophomore member of Alpha Delta Pi, said.

UK takes hazing incidents very seriously. In 2016, Phi Kappa Psi was suspended from the university for five years for alcohol and hazing violations, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“Hazing needs to be eradicated from the Greek life system entirely because it provides results counterproductive to what it is intended to do,” Andrew Hayden, sophomore member of Sigma Chi, said.  “Hazing, in no instance, warrants respects from a pledge to a ‘superior’ active.”

If fraternity or sorority members ever feel pressure to participate in activities that include harassment, ridicule, intimidation or physical exhaustion as a condition for earning respect or membership of a Greek organization, they are urged to contact the Office of Student Contact.

The full pledge sent by West in the email is below: 

I PLEDGE: to prevent hazing before it occurs, stop hazing when I see it happening, report it when I know it has transpired, and help empower others to do the same in their organizations, schools and communities.
•Recognize the harm that hazing can cause both physically and psychologically;
•Condemn the act of hazing on all levels;
•Admonish those who haze and those who enable hazing through their silence, and;
•Be an advocate for the prevention of hazing