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Professor Gregory Parks writes in the Huffington Post that black ‘Greek’ hazing is tied to leadership behavior

Spurred by the senseless hazing death of Robert Champion at Florida A&M University in November 2011, U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member) proposed legislation, on May 31, 2012, to end hazing on college campuses.

 

During a press conference at the National Press Club, she and college-based organization leaders launched their national publicity campaign aimed at black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs), themed “Let’s not beat the life out of a beautiful legacy.” Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity — supported by other black fraternities and sororities as well as Reverend Al Sharpton’s (Phi Beta Sigma member) National Action Network — plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to supplement free media spots, with ESPN agreeing to broadcast public service announcements on its radio network in major markets.

Even more, fraternities and sororities plan to hold sensitivity sessions around the country on September 6, 2012 to try and end violent hazing. Jonathan Mason, Phi Beta Sigma’s First Vice President, proclaimed that “[t]his is the beginning of the end of a culture of hazing, while moving to a culture of service.” Mr. Mason’s pronouncement is premature unless BGLOs have the fortitude, integrity and perspicacity to address the complex factors which undergird and propel violent hazing. Among these factors is the culture within BGLOs that supports the violation of organizational rules and societal laws, from the national heads on down. Among college members, the issue is most frequently hazing. Among the leadership, the issue is most often conversion of organizational funds, embezzlement and fraud (1).

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