In 2019, there were multiple hazing related deaths across colleges and universities in the United States. My hope is that in 2020 we will have zero. Hazing prevention efforts have been on the rise and it is important for us to continue building on the ways we can foster healthy group participation. From a community psychology perspective, strengthening positive behaviors within groups is an effective strategy to combating the behaviors we wish to eradicate.
Some universities, such as Florida State, have hired a Hazing Prevention Coordinator to provide education, outreach, and training for hazing prevention efforts using a public health approach. This is a direction that I believe more institutions would benefit from heading toward. At the high school level, there are a growing number of summer camps, workshops, and educational programs designed specifically for empowering our youth and positively influencing how they interact with their peers. There are also many families, individuals, and organizations who are making impactful contributions each day in their own way. If you’re reading this, I believe you are too.
As we move through this year, let’s continue to work collectively to champion strong communities that uplift us all. Persistence + Consistency = Success.