The start of a new school year brings many exciting opportunities for students: new classes, friends, and activities. Among those activities is the chance to join a fraternity or sorority during rush week. While Greek life offers many benefits for its members, including professional development and community service events, students must be aware of the potential dangerous situations that can occur during rush season. In order to keep your campus and students safe during rush season, consider these tips:
Address alcohol use. Irresponsible and underage alcohol use is a common problem in Greek life. From pledging rituals to frequent parties, alcohol use and abuse is present in many situations. Because it’s common, some students may not recognize the potential dangers associated with alcohol. Through prevention and intervention efforts, college staff and administrators can help change students’ behaviors and beliefs around alcohol. Some specific areas to address include: clarifying personal choices about drinking, learning how alcohol can affect academic and social behavior, and identifying the dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol.
Recognize hazing situations. Hazing is among the most dangerous activities occurring in some sororities and fraternities. In many cases, longstanding hazing rituals are accompanied by binge drinking. Occurring at colleges of different types–small, large, public, private, etc.–hazing has led to serious injuries and in some cases, the death of students. In order to prevent future tragedies, consider educating students about how to recognize hazing situations. Additionally, students should learn about the bystander effect and how to help those around them.
Support sexual assault survivors. It is staff and administrators’ responsibility to provide a reliable support system and resources for sexual assault survivors. These resources must not only exist, but students must be aware of how to access them. With the support of online courses, staff can help keep students safe by developing strategies to bring about change in attitudes about sexual violence on campus. Students also need to learn the steps for reporting and preserving evidence of a sexual assault.
Enforce campus policies. Rules and regulations are vital to students’ success. In order to promote a safe and inclusive campus environment, those policies–including state and local laws–must be enforced by staff, including campus police, and local law enforcement. Students have the opportunity to make a positive change by calling out destructive and illegal behavior. Additionally, stricter enforcement of campus regulations can lead to long-term change resulting in a more positive and healthy campus climate.
At 3rd Millennium Classrooms, we offer a wide range of evidence-based prevention and intervention courses applicable for sororities and fraternities. The most comprehensive course is Greek Wise, which combines our Alcohol Wise, Consent & Respect, and Hazing & Hosting courses into one streamlined program for your students. The course provides a personalized experience for each student, with detailed feedback based on student responses throughout the course.