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U.Va. to require all members of Greek life to attend hazing prevention training

The new mandates are required as part of Virginia’s new anti-hazing law — Adam’s Law — which took effect July 1

<p>Some clubs — such as the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Virginia Polo team, the Personal Finance Club at U.Va. and the Virginia Gentlemen Club — are also required to complete the training because they have new member processes similar to that of Greek life.</p>

Some clubs — such as the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Virginia Polo team, the Personal Finance Club at U.Va. and the Virginia Gentlemen Club — are also required to complete the training because they have new member processes similar to that of Greek life.

All Greek life organizations and a number of clubs on Grounds must have full member completion of a new anti-hazing training by Nov. 15, in compliance with the newly-passed Adam’s Law in Virginia. Members will be able to choose from among 19 different dates to attend a Hoos Against Hazing in-person hazing prevention training session — otherwise, organizations will face deactivation.

Adam’s Law passed in the Senate in January and was signed into law by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin in April. The law was named in honor of Adam Oakes, a Virginia Commonwealth University who passed away from alcohol poisoning in a hazing-related incident in Feb 2021. 

The law — which took effect July 1 — mandates new hazing prevention training and institutional transparency requirements at all higher education institutions in the state. 

Registration is required in advance and all students must bring their student IDs with them. The training was created by the University’s Gordie Center in collaboration with Student Affairs staff. Many potential new members were trained during summer orientation sessions. 

“The Gordie Center is a nationally recognized hazing prevention resource center that also provides consulting to other colleges and universities,” Fraternity and Student Life said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily. “The training is research-based and focuses on the nature and harm of hazing as well as important prevention strategies.” 

While the Inter-Sorority Council consists of 15 chapters and over 1,500 members, the Inter-Fraternity Council consists of over 30 active chapters and upwards of 1,600 members. Eight chapters make up the Multicultural Greek Council. The National Pan-Hellenic Council represents eight of the “Divine Nine” Black fraternities and sororities. The University is also home to a number of professional, service and honor fraternities. 

Outside of organizations with Greek letters, there are clubs that are also required to attend this training — such as the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Virginia Polo team, the Personal Finance Club at U.Va. and the Virginia Gentlemen Club — because they have new member processes similar to that of Greek life. 

In an email to The Cavalier Daily, John Cheney, assistant dean and interim director of Student Engagement, emphasized that the University cannot remove an individual member from an organization for failure to comply with the new law — if one person within the organization fails to complete the training, though, the University can suspend or terminate the organization for failure to comply with University policy.

Adam’s law also requires that institutions provide a public report of hazing violations. FSL shared that information in the July 6 email, providing a link to the University’s report.

According to the report, five Greek organizations were disciplined in July for hazing incidents that occurred this past spring. The Fraternal Organization Agreements of Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Alpha were terminated as a result of hazing by both fraternities. Phi Gamma Delta, commonly known as Fiji among students, was found responsible for injuring a new member after the member was struck in the eye with an egg as part of a hazing ritual. 

Kayvon Samadani, Inter-Fraternity Council president and fourth-year College student, said all potential new members, current members and advisors for all chapters will have to complete this training before spring semester rush. 

Samadani said that he does not believe there is an existing problem of hazing at the University, but added he would like to see “the minority of chapters who may engage in hazing behavior take much greater care in their pledge process.”

“I hope that Adam’s Law will provide a framework for productive and meaningful pledgeship which does not have any room for hazing,” Samadani said. 

Virginia Barney, president of the Inter-Sorority Council and fourth-year Commerce student, did not respond to a request for comment. 

FSL and Cheney said that they have not received pushback from members of Greek organizations regarding the mandatory training. 

Students in Greek life were first emailed about Adam’s Law in July, shortly after the law took effect. The email included a reminder of resources to report hazing — including Just Report It, the University Police Department and the University’s Anonymous Hazing Hotline. In an email to The Cavalier Daily, FSL said these ways to report hazing “have been in place for many years.” 

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