Students celebrate no more hazing

Five years ago, a male student named Gordie Bailey died as a result of the overconsumption of alcohol at the University of Colorado at Boulder.He was  18 years old and was a victim of hazing.In conjunction with National Hazing Prevention Week, Director of Greek Life Kim Monteaux said that the UVM Greek life community will also participate in the second Annual National Gordie Day, a celebration of remembrance for Bailey, and all who have died due to hazing.”His story is something [students] remember well [because] he could have easily been a UVM student,” she said.UVM is one of 118 schools registered for the event that is to take place this Thursday, Brooks Powell, Educational Program Coordinator for the Gordie Foundation, said. The Greek community will be giving away not only information but also “freebies” that will encourage students to spread the word about hazing prevention, Monteaux said.”Greek life at UVM does not condone hazing and we want to do as much as we can to raise awareness about it,” Lisa Faison, Greek Student Staff Program Coordinator, said.Powell said he was thrilled that UVM was participating in Gordie Day this year.”We know that the efforts that are going to go on at UVM will make a huge impact in protecting students against alcohol poisoning,” he said.Although there is a zero tolerance policy for hazing at UVM, it does not mean that it is non-existent.  Monteaux said that, at times, students may not realize when they are the victims of hazing.She also said that education is the most important factor in hazing prevention.”All of us as educators and students have to have the same message and understanding of what hazing is,” she defines hazing as “. . . any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.”The last death at UVM that resulted from the overconsumption of alcohol was in 1992 and is recorded in the archives of Hank Nuwer’s book, “Wrongs of Passage,” which Monteaux keeps in her office.”It’s been a while…but we want to keep it that way,” she said.Although the Gordie Foundation is working with universities to prevent alcohol-related accidents among students, its team of directors is not preaching abstinence, Powell said.”It’s an impractical position…there are ways to drink responsibly.”