Joining a University club is an experience that typically comes with connection, camaraderie, and common purpose. Beginning on Sept. 23, Florida Polytechnic University will be reminding students that there’s one thing joining group membership should never include: hazing.
“Students need to know that clubs are accepting people for who they are and that bullying and hazing are not part of our culture,” said Tonya Chestnut, director of student development Florida Poly. “It’s imperative here at our school to maintain our sense of community. We want to make sure everybody feels safe and is safe.”
Hazing is any action or situation that endangers a student’s mental, physical, or academic health or safety, and typically occurs when a person is joining a group. Hazing is often intended to cause embarrassment or ridicule and can occur with or without a student’s consent.
Chestnut said Florida Poly has not seen problems with hazing, but the University wants to be proactive and prevent any such issues from occurring in the future.
National Hazing Prevention Week activities will begin with the Do-Nut Haze event on Sept. 23. Students can stop by the south entrance of the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building from 8-10 a.m. to sign an anti-hazing pledge and pick up a donut to fuel their morning studies.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the 2019 Anti-Hazing Poster Design Student Competition to raise awareness and promote education about hazing. The event’s theme is “Purple hands don’t haze.” Posters will be displayed in the IST Sept. 23-24.
Students interested in participating in the contest should submit their entry by Sept. 20. Winners will be announced at 10:50 a.m. Sept. 24 in the IST Saddle Creek Logistics Commons. Creators of the top three posters will receive gift cards to the University bookstore.
“We have many talented students here and are excited to see what they come up with,” Chestnut said.
The anti-hazing activities will culminate with the “These Purple Hands Don’t Haze” photo campaign. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to head to the Wellness Center from noon-2 p.m. or to the IST from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 25 to put on purple gloves and have their photo taken to create a visual display of their commitment to a safe campus.
“We want to make sure students know what hazing is and know what to do if it ever happens,” Chestnut said. “Hazing has no place at Florida Poly.”
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