When students go back to campus, the National Panhellenic Conference is frequently hit with multiple media queries as news breaks across the country. Topics are varied; recruitment numbers, YouTube videos, op-ed articles posted by university presidents announcing new campus policies and more.
On any given day, members of the NPC family can be awash in good news or bad news — from the unexpected death of a student on campus to a sorority woman who makes a miraculous recovery from a broken back and is able to walk into a classroom.
But we never stop educating our members, the public and the media. For every mother who sends a child to college for the first time, for every journalist who may not understand the rules that govern sorority conduct, for every lay person who has an image of Panhellenic life that isn’t quite accurate, we need to be there.
And we are.
Not all matters are pressing public policy concerns that elevate to headlines in The New York Times. But sometimes they are. A smattering of articles this month shows the wide range and choice that newsrooms make across the country that shape our reputation and the subsequent perception of the general public.
All nonprofit organizations have similar challenges when it comes to brand and image.
We can never talk enough about what we do, why we do it and the outcomes.
So this month, please remind everyone about National Hazing Prevention Week, which is observed across the nation from September 19 to September 23.
As a sponsor of HazingPrevention.Org, we encourage you to tap the resources provided and have a meaningful discussion about hazing now and throughout the year. HazingPrevention.Org is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose goal is to encourage healthy and productive experiences for new members of sororities and other groups.
Our member groups also support the national anti-hazing hotline, which can be reached at 1-888-NOT-HAZE or 1-888-668-4293. The hotline is monitored by attorneys and the appropriate authorities are contacted when an incident is reported or questions are asked by students or parents.
NPC also provides its own educational programming called “Something of Value,” which has reached more than 9,000 women in 37 states. “Something of Value” addresses risky behaviors on college campuses across the country. The concerns raised by the campus sorority community can run the gamut — from pressure to engage in binge drinking to healthy body images. No subject is off limits and professional facilitators, including attorneys, volunteer their time to deal with the mounting pressures that college women face.
Hazing is not unique to any group. It can begin with a bully on an elementary school playground. It can start with a coach or be institutionalized by a business. The more it is accepted by impressionable young people, the more it tragically turns into a headline that reverberates across the country.
Do your part. Educate, share and encourage others to discuss and examine what hazing is and how to stop it. No young person should feel afraid to report what might be hazing. No adult should be too busy to listen or take the conversation to the next level.
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