Zeta Phi Beta is a 100-year-old sorority.
Leaders are hoping its traditions continue for years to come, which means placing increased focus on anti-hazing education and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy.
“We won’t survive another 100 years if hazing continues,” said Kateri Hargrove, graduate chapter president of Zeta Phi Beta. “People are dying, and it’s not okay and as an organization we have a standard, ‘Finer Women Don’t Haze.”
Hazing isn’t new, but after Ohio State University’s recent decision to suspend nearly all of its fraternity activities in the midst of nearly a dozen investigations, questions regarding how hazing allegations are handled have surfaced.
“I just believe that people nowadays are understanding the severity of the issue,” said Zeta Phi Beta new member Nalaya Brown at the University of Akron.
The University is Akron has a “no tolerance” policy and has posted their hazing compliance form online, which is a requirement for all students in Greek life. There are 20 fraternities and sororities combined at the University.
“It is a violation of this rule for an individual, knowing that hazing has been or is being committed, to knowingly fail to report such information to law enforcement authorities or to student conduct and community standards,” UA spokesman Dan Minnich said in a statement. “Officers of a student organization must report any hazing incident(s) of which they are aware. The consent of the victim is not a defense.”
UA also said “any report of hazing leads to an immediate investigation” and the organizations get involved too.
Hargrove said Zeta Phi Beta follows their own policy as well.
“First thing that happens is we make sure the kids are safe," said Hargrove. "The second thing we do is notify our state director and go up the chain from there. And if legal actions are warranted, then legal actions are warranted.”
Kent State University has a total of 35 fraternities and sororities on campus and lists their definition of hazing online.
Both UA and KSU noted that there are currently no active hazing investigations on campus.
Cleveland State University has also posted a no tolerance stance online and noted in a statement that guidelines have become stricter when identifying hazing.
“The guidelines have become stricter,” said William Dube, director of communications and media relations, in a statement. “Specifically, the definition of hazing has been broadened to include any act/or request of a student that causes that student to feel that they must comply with the directive to gain membership into an organization.”
UA and KSU said organizations on campus are involved in National Hazing Prevention Week.
In September, UA students created banners that were paired with the hashtag: #TheseZipsDontHaze. The activities included raising awareness on myths and facts associated with hazing on campus.