Filling Houston Hall's Bodek Lounge to full capacity, hundreds of new fraternity and sorority pledges attended the University's second annual "Greek Life 101" program Saturday. Started last year as an educational forum for the InterFraternity and Panhellenic councils' pledges, "Greek Life 101" featured speakers such as Dave Westol, executive director of the Theta Chi fraternity, and Arlene Stevens, founder of CHUCK -- the Committee to Halt Useless College Killings. The event, which was mandatory for all pledges, began with a speech by Stevens, whose son Chuck died during a hazing-related incident in 1978. She founded CHUCK and has given hundreds of speeches across the country in an effort to stop fraternities and sororities from hazing new pledges. Stevens recalled the horrifying experience of her son's death and warned students about the dangers of hazing. She praised the University for its strong Greek support system, but urged students not to let hazing tarnish the University's reputation. Next to speak was Westol, who covered the legal aspects of hazing. Although he admitted hazing is a problem on college campuses, he gave examples of students who resisted participating in such activities. "You are the future of the fraternities and sororities," he told the pledges. "You are the change agents." After the speeches, Westol conducted a mock trial emphasizing the legal measures that can be taken against fraternities or sororities who haze members. OFSA Assistant Director Tom Carroll noted that the presentation was "a wonderful opportunity to teach the students about hazing. "The only complaint I have is about the facilities," he added, referring to the lack of space for the event. "Last year we had about 300 pledges attend, but this year it's over 460." This year's program differed slightly from the one offered last year. Time-management seminars for new Greek members offered last year were dropped from the program because the number of students attending made them impractical. Overall, there was optimism about the program's efficacy. "I'm impressed with the fact that the programs are becoming stronger," Stevens said. "I think that people are fed up with hazing." OFSA Director Scott Reikofski said the program "really gets new members looking at hazing and mistreatment in a new way."Comments powered by Disqus
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