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LETTER FROM CHIP MATTHEWS TO STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATION HANDBOOK (PDF)

Hidden Harm of Hazing
Breaking the Cycle
Alternatives to Hazing
 

WHAT WE DON'T KNOW CAN HURT US MOST:

The concept of Hidden Harm has to do with the fact that we don't know everything about the newest members of our organizations. Someone who has just joined an organization or team could have a hidden background that would make them highly susceptible to serious repercussions if hazed. Hazing can be physically or psychologically harmful to even perfectly healthy individuals, but mix hazing with any one of numerous issues individuals may be dealing with, and the damage can increase exponentially.

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

Consider the "baggage" that today's students can bring with them to college. Have you dealt with or do you know anyone who: Suffers from depression or another mental health issue? Has served in the military? Been sexually assaulted? Comes from an alcoholic family? Has suffered the loss of a friend or family member? Has been abused physically or emotionally? Has been hazed or bullied before? All of the above backgrounds - as well as countless others we can't even imagine, much less know about - could put someone at higher risk of being retraumatized through hazing. (Source: hazingprevention.org).

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LETTER FROM CHARLES S. MATTHEWS TO STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS:

Ernest Boyer, Chancellor of SUNY from 1970 to 1977, held that CARING was one of the six principles of community. According to Boyer, a university should be a place where the well-being of each member is sensitively supported and where service to others is encouraged.

At Geneseo it is expected that student organization leaders, advisors and members will embrace community by promoting caring within their organizations and across campus. As a campus we need individuals who are loyal and unwavering in their support of one another's well-being.

Hazing of any kind does not reflect the ideals of a caring community and it does not support the values of Geneseo.

Please stand up with me against hazing by:

1. Using this website and other resources to learn more about what hazing is and the damage it can cause.

2. Making a commitment not to allow yourself or others to be hazed.

3. Intervening when you witness a problem or emergency.

Together we can make a difference on our campus. Together we can create a caring community at Geneseo that we are all proud to be a part of.

Charles S. Matthews II "Chip", Director, College Union and Activities