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Old 02-10-2005, 11:11 PM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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W&L IFC starts anonymous "report hazing" phone line

New website allows anonymous hazing reports
By Megan Zingarelli
Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fraternity pledges can cite hazing incidents anonymously through a new university web page. Hazing.wlu.edu allows pledges to report incidents such as physical abuse, intimidation, forced sleep deprivation, and compelled binge eating or drinking.
IFC President Tom Pickering said the idea for this site stems from a special IFC committee that has been considering hazing at the university. The electronic form requests information such as the hazings nature, the time and place of hazing, and the perpetrators names. The web pages last statement reminds readers, Hazing is a crime!
The committee went forward with the reporting website to have an organized way to report and also to eliminate concern that a certain individual would be singled out as a whistle blower, said Pickering. Since our school is so small, anonymity is almost impossible to achieve.
He said the web site exists for students who feel they must report violations to someone outside the fraternity. However, Pickering said the IFC has clearly told new members to first take hazing concerns to fraternity leaders.
We also made it clear to fraternity leadership that they need notify the new members that they are receptive to their concerns, said Pickering in an email.
Some concerns can be dealt with in just a singe conversation between the IFC and the leadership of a house, he said.
There are others who aren't convinced the website will have any impact. Senior Taylor Callaham is among the skeptics.
"Pledgeship will be different but not because of the website," said Callaham. "Freshmen know what happened last year and wouldn't volunteer information, knowlingly hurting themselves for the next four years," he said.
Patrick Connolly, a senior, and Dawn Watkins, dean of students, will be investigating the anonymous complaints to verify reports of hazing.
"The reason I am serving in this position is to get a student perspective on potential incidents before a formal investigation is launched," said Connolly.
Pickering said he is not very concerned that pledges will abuse the page and file false reports because of the universitys Honor System-centered community. He said fraternitys new member programs will not be stopped if hazing concerns are unfounded.
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