WABI interviews Allan, Sidelko, Dana about hazing

WABI (Channel 5) interviewed University of Maine faculty and staff members Elizabeth Allan, a professor of higher education, Lauri Sidelko, director of the Student Wellness Resource Center, and Robert Dana, vice president for student life and dean of students, about hazing on college campuses. According to a new UMaine study co-led by Allan, 26 percent of students involved in campus organizations or teams reported experiencing at least one behavior that would be considered hazing, while only 4 percent explicitly said they had been hazed, WABI reported. The study also found a relationship between gender and attitudes toward and perceptions of hazing. Allan said prevention is the goal. “How can we do more to help students become more aware of hazing, notice hazing when it’s occurring, understand the broad spectrum of hazing, and why even behaviors that they might not have even considered to be necessarily harmful, why if they meet the definition of hazing, they can potentially be harmful?” said Allan. “Most students are looking for a way for themselves to bond as an organization. They’re looking for a way to keep some sort of tradition and to ask something of the students in joining, and I think that is okay, but there are ways to do that without hazing them,” Sidelko told WABI. “We work really hard to educate the students and talk to them about what it is that they are doing.” The best course of action for UMaine, according to officials, is maintaining an ongoing conversation about what is tolerated in the campus community and what is not. “One of the ways you do that, to bring students in and make them really strong members and leaders, is that you dignify them, you respect them, you care for them, you’re compassionate to them, and you don’t hurt them, and hazing is hurting people,” said Dana.